A broken taillight led to a Poughkeepsie man facing felony drug and weapons charges, State Police said.

James Starkey, 29, was pulled over Thursday by State Police troopers from Troop K on Route 44 in Pleasant Valley after they noticed the taillight on his 1995 Isuzu Trooper SUV had a missing lamp, State Police said.

State Police found that Starkey's driver's license was suspended. They then searched him and his SUV and found several oxycodone pills for which Starkey did not have a valid prescription. The illegal spread and abuse of the powerful prescription painkiller, derived from the same plant that yields heroin, has become an epidemic in the suburbs north of New York City, law enforcement officials have said.

In addition to the illegal painkillers, police found Starkey was carrying a gravity knife, an illegal weapon that is similar to the outlawed switchblade.

He was charged with third degree criminal possession of a weapon and fourth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

He was issued appearance tickets and released by State Police. He is due back April 18 in Pleasant Valley Town Court.

A lawyer for Starkey could not be located. Starkey, who has an unlisted phone number, could not be reached for comment.