|Erik Davis Harp|
Erik Davis Harp, 43, was arrested on March 15 near Panama City Beach, Florida, for carrying a concealed weapon (firearm). Harp has extensive ties to the University of Alabama.
Officers from the Bay County Sheriff's Office made the arrest, but it is not clear how they became aware that Harp was carrying a concealed gun. Our experience has shown that concealed-weapons charges often come after a traffic stop, with the weapon found when officers determine they have grounds to search the vehicle.
We do not yet have details on events leading to Harp's arrest. Aside from the circumstances, an obvious question or two hangs out there: Why would a man, who once helped lead a gambling ring that generated more than $20 million a month, be carrying a concealed weapon? Is this arrest a sign that Harp still is involved with activities connected to major crime families, with familiar names like Gambino and Genovese?
Harp has been a somewhat shadowy figure since coming to our attention in August 2013 after being among 30 people indicted in an investigation of illegal offshore sports gaming. Along the way, we learned that Harp and Jessica Garrison had been partners in Margaritaville LLC, which involves rental of a condominium in Orange Beach, Alabama. Harp spent a number of years in Tuscaloosa and is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where he met Garrison and her ex husband, Tuscaloosa City School Board president Lee Garrison.
What has Harp been up to since smoke from the gambling case died down? That's hard to say. (The Queen's, New York, district attorney prosecuted the gambling case, and it remains unclear what, if any, punishment Harp received). Records from the weapons arrest show his address as 4000 Marriott Drive, Panama City Beach, Florida. That is home to the Marriott Legend's Edge at Bay Point.
So, Erik Harp lives full time at a Marriott Resort? That could be, but our Web research indicates he has, or did have, a number of far-flung business interests. They include:
(1) Colorado Gold and Precious Metals -- Harp is listed as the company's agent, and his address on the records is 1016 THOMAS DR. #177, Panama City Beach, FL, which is a UPS Store. The corporation appears to be affiliated with a company called Gold Rush Denver, which is at 1664 S. Broadway in the Mile High City. According to its Web site, Gold Rush has six locations in Colorado.
(2) Granite Peak Energy LLC (Dupont, WA) -- Scott Carino is listed as agent, with an address in Tacoma, Washington, and Harp is listed as manager. Records from the Washington Secretary of State show Harp's address as the UPS store in Panama City Beach. Carino also is affiliated with a family real-estate development firm called Carino and Associates.
(3) TAGG Holdings LLC -- Harp is listed as manager, with an address of the UPS store in Panama City Beach. The company started in February 2016, and Maudie Harp also is listed as a principal.
(4) Cani Investments LLC -- Harp is listed as registered agent, along with Elvia Harp. Like TAGG Holdings, this company formed in February 2016.
Speaking of investments, Harp has contributed financially to an entity that he apparently holds dear, and it's quite familiar to people across Alabama. More on that in an upcoming post.
(To be continued)