County man charged with selling cocaine, meth

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com
A former Johnson City fire department official was arrested Thursday on drug-related charges, just three and a half months after he was charged with the manufacture of narcotics in his Carter County residence.
Herbert Hoover Harrah, Jr., 54, of 108 Lonesome Dove Road, was arrested Tuesday night by Carter County Sheriff's Department Deputy Jeff Markland and agents of the First Judicial Drug Task Force on an indictment which was handed down by a Carter County Grand Jury on Sept. 3 charging him with three counts of the sale of Schedule II narcotics. At the time of his arrest, Harrah, who is a former assistant chief with the Johnson City Fire Department, was charged with additional drug-related offenses.
According to the indictment, Harrah had sold Schedule II narcotics, in the forms of cocaine and methamphetamine, to undercover informants working with the DTF earlier this year. The indictment states that the first sale occurred on March 11, when Harrah sold 1.6 grams of cocaine to the informant. The second sale, according to the indictment, took place on March 13, where the informant purchased 2.8 grams of cocaine from Harrah. The third sale was on March 24 when Harrah sold 3.0 grams of methamphetamine to the DTF informant, according to the indictment. All three offenses are "Class B" felonies.
According to a report by a DTF agent, agents and officers arrived at Harrah's residence Thursday night at around 9 p.m. to execute the indictment and take Harrah into custody. The report states that Harrah met the agents and officers at the carport of his residence and when he was advised that he was being taken into custody he requested permission to "put his dogs up" and was allowed to do so.
"Deputy Jeff Markland observed unusual activity being displayed by Mr. Harrah and entered the bathroom," the report by the agent states. Agents and officers found a ziplock bag located on the vanity and after investigation located a narcotics smoking device in the drain of the sink, which agents were able to recover.
At that time, the agents requested permission from Harrah to allow them to search his residence, which Harrah granted them, according to the report.
During the search of Harrah's residence, agents and officers located additional drug paraphernalia in a trash can and under the vanity in the bathroom as well as a pyrex glass dish which had a brownish residue on it which tested positive for methamphetamine.
Markland also located a pill bottle with an assortment of pills in it. When agents questioned Harrah about the bottle's contents he advised the agents that the pills were Prilosec and stomach medication. "In addition to that I said 'Xanax?' and Harrah replied, 'Yeah Xanax. I guess those are illegal," one of the agents states in his report. "(An agent) asked Mr. Harrah if he had a prescription for the Xanax and he said no."
At that time, Harrah was also charged with the possession of Schedule II narcotics (methamphetamine), possession of Schedule IV narcotics (Xanax) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
On May 27 of this year, Harrah was arrested and charged with manufacturing Schedule II narcotics (methamphetamine) and conspiracy to manufacture Schedule II narcotics.
On that day, agents with the DTF were conducting what they call a "knock and talk" at his residence. While agents were talking to Harrah, they obtained consent to search the residence and discovered a clandestine laboratory used to produce methamphetamine.
"This investigation was the result of numerous complaints received by the Carter County Sheriff's Department concerning unusual odors and large traffic flow to and from the residence," DTF Director Ken Phillips stated at the time of Harrah's arrest in May.
A Mountain City man was also taken into custody at Harrah's residence when DTF agents discovered the methamphetamine lab in May. Terry Lee Davis, age 42, of 326 Industrial Drive, Mountain City, was charged with manufacturing Schedule II narcotics, conspiracy to manufacture Schedule II narcotics and criminal impersonation.
Harrah appeared in Carter County Criminal Court on Friday. At that time, all of his court cases were reset for a plea deadline on Oct. 20.