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Friday, June 2, 2023

Loaded gun found in felon’s car during traffic stop for window tint violation

A traffic stop in Ocala for a window tint violation led to the arrest of a 34-year-old convicted felon after a loaded gun was found inside his car.

On Saturday, May 13, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy observed a white Kia sedan with a dark tint on its two front windows. Shortly after the deputy initiated a traffic stop, the vehicle came to a stop at the intersection of Banyan Trak and SE 58th Avenue in Ocala, according to the arrest report.

The deputy made contact with the driver and sole occupant of the sedan, identified in the report as Shermann Edward James.

Shermann Edward James
Shermann Edward James

The MCSO report stated that the deputy detected “the odor of burnt marijuana emitting from the vehicle.” James informed the deputy that he did not possess a medical marijuana card.

The deputy noted in the report that an agency-issued tint meter was used to test the front window on the passenger’s side of James’ vehicle, which revealed that the tinted window was “below the legal limit” at two percent.

A second deputy arrived on scene to assist with the traffic stop, and James refused to comply with instructions to exit the sedan. The MCSO report stated that James “swung his hands around” and ignored multiple commands to step out of the vehicle. After using “physical force,” the deputies were able to secure James in the back of a patrol vehicle.

The interior of James’ sedan was searched. According to the MCSO report, a Smith and Wesson handgun was observed underneath the driver’s seat. The firearm was loaded with one round in the chamber, and the serial number was scratched off.

The MCSO report stated that a “large rifle magazine” was also found in the sedan’s trunk, and the magazine contained one .223 Remington live round.

A criminal history search of James revealed that he has several prior felony convictions in Marion County.

James was arrested, transported to Marion County Jail, and he was later released on $15,000 bond. He is facing felony charges for possessing a weapon or ammunition by a convicted felon, carrying a concealed weapon (unlicensed firearm), and removing the serial number from a firearm, along with a misdemeanor charge for resisting an officer without violence.

A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.