PORT ANGELES — Bail of $100,000 was set Tuesday for a Forks man who allegedly tried to swallow a bag of heroin that could have killed him while he was being arrested outside Walmart east of downtown Port Angeles.
A 72-hour hold was placed on John Anthony “Tony” Harris, 38, in a Clallam County Superior hearing to await the possible filing of formal charges at 3 p.m. Thursday.
Plain-clothes detectives were on the lookout for people with outstanding warrants at noon Thursday when they spotted Harris inside the store off East Kolonels Way, said Brian King, Clallam County sheriff’s office chief criminal deputy.
They followed Harris to his vehicle. He was wanted on Superior Court warrants for unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a firearm, King said.
While being arrested, Harris tried to swallow a plastic baggie with 9 grams of heroin, which would likely have killed him, King said.
Harris’ wife, Greta, 31, was in the vehicle.
King said that inside the vehicle, detectives found 47.4 grams of heroin, 4 grams of cocaine, 1.2 grams of methamphetamine, three sets of digital scales, $3,000 in $20 and $100 bills in Harris’ purse, a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun in her purse, unused plastic baggies, and “crib notes” that appeared to list drug sales.
Greta Harris had $25,000 bail set Thursday for investigation of manufacturing-delivery-possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver a controlled substance.
Combined with the heroin in John Harris’ possession, the drugs, which weighed almost 2 ounces, were valued at $4,500 if sold by the gram, King said.
John Harris’ criminal history includes felony convictions for burglary, two convictions for possession of controlled substances, and unlawful possession of a firearm. Greta Harris has a previous misdemeanor third-degree theft conviction.
He was booked into the Clallam County Corrections Facility for investigation of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (heroin), possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), unlawful possession of a firearm, and tampering with physical evidence.
Greta Harris was booked for investigation of possession of controlled substances with the intent to deliver. More charges are likely pending.
The warrant was issued for her husband following a 2019 investigation involving the unlawful possession of a controlled substance and the unlawful possession of a firearm.
The operation was conducted by the Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team (OPNET), which was looking for specific individuals with active warrants who were believed to be actively dealing drugs, King said.
“Our deputies and OPNET detectives were out looking for these people, this list of individuals I put out,” he said.
“This happened to be almost as soon as I said we need to pick up these people up because they are presenting a danger to our community based on their current actions, and the resulting intel we received about this conduct in the community, this individual, Tony, was quickly located.
“There are a number of other individuals we are seeking.
“Not only are they dealing, but they are armed with firearms.
“The proof is in the pudding with this arrest that was certainly corroborated on the street level.”
King said Tuesday that Harris was the only person arrested on the list he compiled last week.
“Between OPNET and local law enforcement, we are continuing to work on identifying those other individuals as part of our emphasis on trying to arrest a number of bad actors who have been operating here for some time,” he said.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].