Traffic stop uncovers new firearms and drug crimes by a convicted felon

Last week, a Jacksonville man who was under surveillance by task force deputies was observed driving a 2020 silver KIA OPTIMA when he failed to yield to the stop sign located at Aiken Street and Christopher Street.  The man, later identified to Historic City News as 40-year-old John Carlton Harry Jr, surrendered to a traffic stop conducted by Corporal Toth at Evergreen Street at Francis Street in Saint Augustine

In a quick check of publicly available records with the Department of Corrections, Historic City News discovered that John Carlton Harry Jr, whose address was reported as 6437 Sierra Drive in Jacksonville, has been convicted of the following felonies:

  • 08/11/1998- sale of cocaine within 1000 feet
  • 08/20/1998- robbery with a gun or deadly weapon
  • 03/02/2006- carrying a concealed firearm
  • 11/27/2010- battery on law enforcement
  • 07/30/2011- aggravated assault with a weapon

Shortly after the traffic stop was conducted, K-9 Deputy Hill arrived and approached the vehicle. Hill reported that he could smell the odor of marijuana while he was speaking to the driver. Deputy Hill asked Harry to exit the vehicle so that his canine could perform an exterior free air sniff for narcotics.

Harry exited the vehicle and Deputy Hill conducted a pat-down search for weapons. When Hill asked Harry if he was carrying any weapons, Harry responded that he was not.  However, Hill discovered and removed a firearm from Harry’s right front pants pocket.  The handgun was identified as an INA TIGER .32 caliber revolver.  It was found fully loaded with six rounds of ammunition.

Investigators on the scene report that they located 3.9 grams of MDMA, weighed with packaging, and 3.6 grams of crack cocaine, weighed with packaging, both located in the driver’s side door handle pocket.  Also found was a counterfeit one-hundred-dollar bill in the arm rest of the center console.

During an interview with detectives, Harry admitted that he recently smoked marijuana in the vehicle. Although he admitted that he was in possession of the firearm, he explained that he was holding it for a friend. When asked, Harry was able to correctly identify the handgun as a black .32 caliber revolver.  Harry admitted ownership of the MDMA discovered by investigators but claims that the crack cocaine did not belong to him.

Harry was arrested and charged with:

  • (7) counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • (1) count of carrying a concealed weapon
  • (1) count of possession of MDMA
  • (1) count of possession of crack cocaine
  • (1) count of possession of a weapon in the commission of a felony

Sentencing for these crimes, if convicted, could be enhanced because they were committed during a state of emergency declared by the governor.  Harry remains in custody at this time in lieu of a total of $43,000 in bail.