Deputies: Undercover drug sting leads to arrest of St. Augustine man

Jonathan Harris accused of selling heroin from home within 1,000 feet of school

By Erik Avanier - Reporter

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - An undercover drug sting that began in March led to the arrest of a St. Augustine man accused of running a drug house on Grove Avenue, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said.

Jonathan Kyle Harris, 29, was taken into custody Tuesday on a warrant charging him with selling heroin from his home, which is within 1,000 feet from Ketterlinus Elementary School, investigators said.

“Historically, parents would have had their children walking through these streets to go to school and that’s why we don’t. That’s why we walk with them," neighbor Bethany Nelson told News4Jax on Wednesday. "I think lots of us in the neighborhood had inklings that something not right is going in the house."

Harris was booked late Tuesday morning into the St. Johns County jail on multiple drug charges. His bond was set at $300,000.

The case against Harris began in March when detectives said they used an undercover informant to purchase heroin multiple times from Harris.

Investigators said they have audio recording of the drug deals that took place inside his home, which they said Harris intentionally used and maintained to sell heroin. 

Although the house is two blocks away from tourist attractions, neighbors said they had concerns about it.  

"I’ve seen suspicious-looking people, noise, people coming and going at odd hours," neighbor Chris Holmes said.

A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office told News4Jax that Harris was likely not arrested in March because detectives were still investigating the case and may not have wanted to tip off others who may have been involved. The spokesperson also confirmed that Harris sold heroin to the undercover informant multiple times, which is why the bond may have been set so high.

The case remains under investigation, which means there could be more charges filed and possibly more arrests.

Prior to Tuesday's arrest, St. Johns County court records show that Harris had numerous run-ins with law enforcement between 2010 and 2015.

In 2015, Harris was facing misdemeanor drug charges, but adjudication was withheld. In two other cases, charges were dropped. 

In this case, investigators said, they believe they have enough evidence.

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