Ex-con gets 20 years for crime spree that leads to high-speed police chase

Adrian Diaz
Adrian Diaz Monroe County Sheriff's Office

A Florida Keys man has been sentenced to state prison for 20 years after a crime spree that added up to 25 felony convictions, including leading police on a chase while going 100 mph in a stolen Lexus.

Adrian Jesus Diaz, 21, of Big Coppitt Key, pleaded no contest to 30 charges from 2018 at the Monroe County Courthouse on April 3. Judge Mark Wilson sentenced him; other charges included grand theft, burglary and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Diaz broke into cars on Bay Point, Rockland Key and Big Coppitt Key and stole two .38-caliber handguns, a chainsaw, sunglasses, wallets, cash, phone chargers, perfume, a dog collar and Walt Disney World passes, among other items.

He was arrested Jan. 15, 2018.

He was caught, in part, by posting Snapchat videos and photos of the stolen silver Lexus showing him in the driver’s seat, labeling some images “New Whip!!”

In federal court, Diaz was charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. The substance was 251 grams of marijuana found in a backpack when he was arrested for the auto burglaries.

For the federal convictions, Diaz was sentenced to seven years, to run concurrently with the 20-year state term, said Larry Kahn, spokesman for State Attorney Dennis Ward’s office.

Diaz had previously served a year in state prison for burglary, grand theft auto, grand theft, criminal mischief, fleeing and eluding and operating a chop shop, all of which happened in Monroe County from 2015 to 2016.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia has released dashcam footage of a December 28 police chase during which shots were fired at a patrol car. The chase ended when the suspect’s vehicle, a Ford Explorer, flipped.