Cops find marijuana in former St. Johns Sheriff’s SUV, let him go with warning

David Shoar stayed close to home with his Congressional endorsement
The former Sheriff of St. Johns County was found in possession of cannabis in his sport utility vehicle on a St. Augustine Beach road, but police let him go with a simple warning.

The former Sheriff of St. Johns County was found in possession of cannabis in his sport utility vehicle on a St. Augustine Beach road this month, but police let him go with a simple warning.

David Shoar, Sheriff of St. Johns County from 2004 to 2021, was busted with possession of marijuana in his Ford Explorer. According to a St. Augustine Beach Police Department (SABPD) report, Officer Brett Adams said he sensed what smelled like burning marijuana coming from Shoar’s SUV even before he pulled the vehicle over when he observed Shoar did not stop at a red traffic light on State Road A1A before turning onto Pope Road in the coastal community.

Shoar immediately brandished his Florida state-issued medical marijuana card, which permits legal use of prescribed cannabis. but the weed must be stored in prescribed containers and packages from a dispensary. There was no prescribed container or package. Even though marijuana is legal for medicinal and prescribed use in Florida, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of the drug.

The incident took place at about 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15.

After the traffic stop was made, Adams said in the report, “I observed pieces of marijuana on the center console (of the SUV). Additionally, there was a very strong odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle.”

Adams stated he asked the former Sheriff to exit from his vehicle. A search of the vehicle was conducted and an additional three marijuana cigarettes were located inside the Explorer.

Adams wrote in his report, “I collected the marijuana and submitted it into evidence for destruction.”

Coincidentally, Shoar was an outspoken critic of some proposed measures in Florida that would have legalized medicinal marijuana before the drug got state approval for prescriptions. In 2015, a Florida Politics report noted Shoar, who was President of the Florida Sheriff’s Association, was opposed to elements of state legislative proposals to legalize medicinal cannabis.

Adams said he gave Shoar a “verbal warning for both the traffic violation and having marijuana in the vehicle.” The former Sheriff was allowed to drive away from the traffic stop.

No field sobriety test was given.

SABPD Police Chief Daniel Carswell issued a statement this week addressing the officer’s actions and said the incident was handled appropriately.

“A roadside investigation and interview were conducted by officers. No driver impairment was detected during the interview/investigation,” Carswell said in a brief type-written statement which largely recounted the incident report drafted by Adams.

“SABPD officers conducted a thorough investigation adhering to agency policy and standard operating procedures,” Carswell concluded in his prepared statement.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected].


  • Ron DeSantis wears High Heels

    December 21, 2023 at 4:09 pm

    Lucky he’s the former Sheriff. Anybody else and he’d be locked up.
    If they were black, they’d be shot.

  • Frankie M.

    December 21, 2023 at 8:00 pm

    He didn’t stop at a red light. Found weed in the vehicle but he wasn’t impaired….riiiight

  • Blud

    December 22, 2023 at 2:08 am

    Well let’s just strip this down to what it is…a drug addict. He broke the law by running a red light, strike one. Operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of a narcotic drug, good lord he was smoking while driving. Strike two. Narcotic drug not in a legal container. Strike three. Youre outta here! Should of then been handcuffed, arrested, taken to jail and charged with a dui. I’m sure his thought process is no law officer has the testicular fortitude to mess with me. I spit in this hypocrites direction. He should be prosecuted. I did like this man. Not any more. Put my kids in danger while operating a motor vehicle around him. Pisses me off now that I voted for him every time he ran for sheriff. If I see him around town you or your wife will hear from me about the danger you put my kids in operating your vehicle baked outta your mind. JERK
    Would love to see the cop cam of this traffic stop.
    Ya know, if he drops his red hot bowl in his lap while driving, not only is he gon a burn his little Bobo, but he’s most likely gonna rear end someone…my kids. Sheriff David B. Shore (Ret) you are an inspiration to today’s youth.

  • Sonja Fitch

    December 23, 2023 at 5:12 am


  • Live and Learn

    December 28, 2023 at 12:50 pm

    When I was a teen, our redneck, cowboy hat wearing, cigar chewing, Democrat Sheriff had a policy that any Deputy finding a possession amount of weed on a person was to require the person to dump the weed on the ground and scatter it with their foot, confiscate paraphernalia, and send them on their way. It was that way for decades, but every subsequent Democrat Sheriff started locking people up for virtually any level of possession (as it remains, today). Are we safer today as a result? Who knows.

  • Joe

    December 30, 2023 at 6:12 pm

    There’s that party of law and order, draining the swamp, etc. Rules for thee but not for me, it’s the RepubliQan way.

Comments are closed.


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