ADEL, GA (WALB) - A man charged in connection to the Bible drug smuggling operation at the Cook County Jail is maintaining his innocence.
Harold Gray, 49, of Adel, has been accused of spraying the pages with liquid methamphetamine of the Bibles that were smuggled into the jail.
Gray, who is out on bond, did not want to go on camera but spoke with WALB’s Ri’Shawn Bassette.
Gray said officers are basing the charges on a phone conversation that he had with an inmate, calling the evidence against him hearsay. He mentioned that the charges released are not consistent with the ones he is facing, which he references as the reason that he is out of jail at the moment.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Gray is still facing two counts of possession with the intent to distribute, two counts of crossing guard lines, use of a communication facility for a drug transaction and distribution.
Gray’s neighbors said they are shocked to hear what deputies suspect he did.
“Still just shock being that it’s so close to your house, right here. Like I said, you don’t hear about it happening, you hear about it happening somewhere else. But I’m glad that they’ve cracked down on it,” said resident Timmy Guthrie.
Guthrie said that there’s a warning that comes out of all this, suggesting that everyone should keep their eyes on their neighbors.
One of Gray’s other neighbors and landlord, Jerry Tatum, said he couldn’t believe what Gray was charged with doing to a sacred and holy book.
“Somebody is H-bound," said Tatum.
Tatum said that he was in his home one night when his wife woke him up because authorities were next door.
“It just looks like a parking lot down there. I said I ain’t never seen that many in one place," said Tatum.
Unsure of what was going on, Tatum went back to bed. He said he never would have imagined that Gray would soon be charged with such a crime.
“I said, ‘Now, OK, because I don’t believe in that stuff out here on my place.’ Next thing I know, it’s been two years. He’s been good as gold," said Tatum.
Although he said that Gray is innocent until proven guilty, Tatum said that he is heartbroken that he may have been involved in the crime.
“Because I thought he was a better man than that, especially using a Bible. I can’t see that. I didn’t even know they could put that in a Bible, soak that stuff," said Tatum.
Tatum and other neighbors shared that they do not want the drugs in their neighborhood. He said they are unsure of the next step but said that he and his wife are considering evicting Gray.