North Port man faces cocaine trafficking charges

A bag of what is believed to be cocaine was found inside a North Port man's car.
A bag of what is believed to be cocaine was found inside a North Port man's car.(Charlotte County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 1:58 PM EST
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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (WWSB) - A North Port man was arrested during a traffic stop when Charlotte County deputies found a large amount of cocaine, cash and a gun inside his car, authorities said.

On Jan. 30, a deputy observed a vehicle run a red light on South McCall Road in Port Charlotte. After stopping the vehicle in the parking lot of a gas station, the driver, identified as James Joyce, appeared to be very nervous. When Joyce could not produce a vehicle registration, he was asked to step out of the car.

During a search, deputies found a small, metal cylinder in Joyce’s pocket with pills inside that Joyce eventually identified as Xanax.

Deputies informed Joyce he was being detained. Joyce began resisting as the deputy tried to handcuff him. The struggle continued, deputies said, even as a gas station employee assisted the deputy in trying to restrain Joyce.

The deputy used his Taser on Joyce twice, with no results. Another deputy finally arrived and Joyce was handcuffed.

Deputies say they also found a medium-sized ziplock bag containing a white, powdery substance on his person. A search of the car revealed a loaded .45-caliber handgun, nearly $3,000 in cash, two oxycodone pills and a hard white substance which tested positive for cocaine.

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

  • Trafficking cocaine (56 grams)
  • Two counts of possession of a controlled substance
  • Possession of Firearm by a convicted felon
  • Using a firearm while committing a felony
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Resisting an officer without violence
James Joyce
James Joyce(Charlotte County Sheriff's Office)