California Man Awaiting Trial Eats Marijuana During Traffic Stop in Owings

October 3, 2017
Shawn Michael Clarke, 35, of California

Shawn Michael Clarke, 35, of California

On Friday, September 1, 2017 Deputy Mohler of the Calvert County Sherriff Office while participating in a traffic enforcement assignment received information from a fellow Deputy operating a laser speed detection device on Southern Maryland Boulevard in the area of Briscoe Turn Road, in Owings regarding a speeding vehicle.

Deputy Mohler was advised a silver Hyundai with front passenger side damage, and traveling in left lane. The car was recorded traveling southbound on Southern Maryland Boulevard at a speed of seventy-nine miles per hour. Seconds after being advised the information Deputy Mohler observed the silver Hyundai pass his location, which was approximately three hundred yards south of the laser operator.

Deputy Mohler initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. Deputies made contact with the driver, advised the reason for the stop, and requested the driver provide his driver’s license and vehicle registration card. The driver provided the registration card and told Deputy Mohler he did not have his license with him. Deputy Mohler inquired why the driver didn’t have his license and the driver replied, “Just didn’t.” Deputies asked if his license was good and the driver stated he knew it wasn’t.

The driver was identified as Shawn Michael Clarke, 35, of California. Deputies checked Clarke’s driving record through the Calvert County Control Center, and they discovered Clarke’s driving privilege was revoked in 2010. Additionally, Clarke’s license was suspended in 2016, and showed numerous instances where Clarke failed to appear for court proceedings.

Clarke was asked to exit the vehicle, and he was subsequently placed under arrest for driving on a revoked license. While searching Clarke’s person deputies asked when the last time Clarke was around marijuana as deputies detected the faint odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle. Clarke advised deputies he had smoked the previous night, and he has smoked in the vehicle previously. Clarke stated he had no marijuana on his person or within the vehicle.

While searching Clarke Deputy Mohler detected the strong odor of marijuana emitting from his breath.  Clarke was instructed to open his mouth, and deputies detected chunks of a green leafy substance of suspected marijuana stuck in multiple places in his teeth and detected flakes of a green leafy substance of suspected marijuana on his tongue. Clarke denied having eaten any marijuana. Deputy Mohler photographed the evidence, and he noted by eating the marijuana Clarke destroyed evidence of a crime. While searching Clarke deputies also located an ankle tracking bracelet. Clarke advised deputies he was on pre-trial release from the St. Mary’s County Detention Center.

When asked about the speeding, Clarke stated he did not know how fast he was going. When asked about the revocation, Clarke stated he knew he did not have a driver’s license and advised he “Had to get to work somehow,” as his ride wasn’t able to pick him up as usual. When asked about eating the suspected marijuana, Clarke stated, “I just freaked out. I saw it sitting there and ate it”. Clarke stated he had rolled a joint in the car the previous night and some marijuana had fallen out.

Clarke was charged with:

  • Driving on Highway at Speed Exceeding Limit
  • Fail to Display License on Demand
  • Driving Vehicle on Highway Without Required License
  • Person Driving on Highway on Revoked License

Clarke was Arrested and Transported to the Calvert County Detention Center.

Shawn Michael Clarke, 35, of California

Shawn Michael Clarke, 35, of California