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North Port Man Arrested on Drug Charges after Failure to Stop at Red Light


February 2, 2023 – Port Charlotte, FL

A North Port man was arrested on several charges, including possession and trafficking cocaine, after failing to stop at a red light late Monday night.

On Monday, January 30, 2023, a deputy observed a 2008 Suzuki Forenza fail to stop at a steady red light on S. McCall Rd. in Port Charlotte. The deputy activated his emergency lights and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle, pulling into a gas station parking lot. Upon making contact with the driver, identified as James G. Joyce (02/11/1967), the deputy noticed Joyce appeared to be very nervous. When asked to provide his license, registration, and proof of insurance, Joyce claimed that he had just purchased the vehicle from a friend and had not yet had it registered. The deputy noticed that Joyce’s nervousness had intensified, and for his safety, he asked Joyce if he would step out of the vehicle. Joyce agreed, and when asked if there were weapons inside, he stated that there might be a .45-caliber handgun somewhere. The deputy ordered Joyce not to reach or look for it and to exit the vehicle.

Once outside the vehicle, Joyce agreed to a search of his person. The deputy located a small, metal cylinder in Joyce’s pocket that rattled. Joyce stated that it contained Tylenol. After the deputy asked Joyce to show him the Tylenol, Joyce then stated “I’m sorry I lied to you. It’s Xanax.” and revealed seven oval-shaped, peach-colored pills.

James G. Joyce (02/11/1967)

At this time, the deputy advised Joyce that he was being detained and attempted to place him in handcuffs. Joyce resisted and refused to comply with the deputy’s commands, leading to the deputy requesting backup to his location. As Joyce continued to struggle, the deputy took him to the ground in an attempt to restrain him. Joyce continued to resist, kicking his legs and squirming to prevent being handcuffed. Seeing this, the attendant from the gas station came out to try to assist the deputy, to no avail. The deputy drive-stunned Joyce with his taser twice, also to no avail. Another deputy arrived and the pair were able to place Joyce under arrest.

With Joyce now restrained, the search of his person continued. A medium-sized zip lock bag containing a white, powdery substance was found, as well as another metal cylinder containing the same substance. Both of these were field tested, giving a positive result for the presence of cocaine. The vehicle was then searched, locating a loaded .45-caliber handgun (a search of his history revealed he is a convicted felon) and nearly $3,000 in cash, wrapped in rubber bands. A cigarette pack was also located, containing two oxycodone pills and a hard white substance, which also tested positive for the presence of cocaine

Joyce was transported to the Charlotte County Jail and has since bonded out. He faces the following charges:

  • Trafficking cocaine (56 grams)
  • Possession of Controlled Substance (x2)
  • Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon
  • Using a Firearm while Committing Felony
  • Drug Paraphernalia
  • Resisting Officer without Violence