ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Drugs allegedly found inside a St. Petersburg home put the owner in jail while daily liens against him from the city tied to an eyesore outside continue to add up.

Jason Johns, 52, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and cocaine. The charges also violated the terms of Johns’ probation, sending him to jail.

The mess in the front and back yards of Johns’ home on 56th Street North is so expansive, at one point it was mistaken for debris from Thursday’s storm.

Karl Recine, who lives near Johns’ home, said the piles of junk have been a neighborhood issue for a while.

“Oh lord. At least two years now,” Recine said. “It’s gotten progressively worse and worse and now it’s almost like a game to him.”

A week before his arrest, Johns talked to 8 On Your Side about why his yard is filled with everything from rusting furniture to discarded Halloween decor.

“I had a couple of deaths in my family in the past year,” Johns said. “And I’m a little bit of a hoarder. I admit that.”

Andrew Watts, who lives across the street from Johns, credited Community Service Officer Sgt. Anthony Ali for helping the neighborhood draw attention to the code violations that Johns faces.

Fines and liens currently total close to $10,000 with $100 added every day. The issue is expected to come up at next month’s Code Enforcement Board hearing. Once the total reaches $15,000, the city can go to court and take action toward cleaning up the property.

Watts said he has been told if Johns remains in prison for at least 10 days, the property could be considered abandoned, allowing the city to get involved sooner.

St. Petersburg Public Information Officer Erica Riggins said the city is looking into the impact of Johns’ arrest.

“The situation is more complex than the 10-day period of abandonment process you mentioned due to the homeowner being in custody,” Riggins said. “Our city teams are currently reviewing all of the options available.”  

Neighbors are hoping the cleanup occurs as soon as possible.

“They should have things in place to where if it’s this bad they should have something that speeds up the process because we’ve dealt with this for two years,” Recine said. “I have family come to town and everybody comes by and say what’s up with that house because it’s an eyesore.”