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Officer Charged With Felony Murder Now Facing Seven More Charges Over Deadly No-Knock Raid

Published: November 29, 2019
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Source: Tech Dirt

The botched drug raid in Houston that left two homeowners dead and one cop paralyzed from the waist down has resulted in additional criminal charges… against the cops.

Officer Gerald Goines -- already facing felony murder charges for the raid that left Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle dead -- claimed an informant purchased heroin from Tuttle and saw guns in the house. One no-knock raid later, Nicholas and Tuttle were dead, killed by cops whose actions were set in motion by a warrant affidavit full of lies.

The heroin supposedly sold to Goines’ informant? Pulled from the console of Goines’ cruiser. The controlled buy didn’t happen either. No one has been able to locate the informant Goines claimed saw heroin and guns in the Tuttle residence. As a result, more than 1,400 cases Goines had a hand in have been placed under review. Two dozen have already been dismissed. The DA’s office and the FBI have also opened their own investigations.

The raid produced nothing the cops were looking for. There was no heroin. There were a couple of guns, but the gun Tuttle supposedly used to shoot at officers wasn’t in the search inventory. All the officers found was personal use amounts of cocaine and marijuana. An independent forensic examination of the scene came to the conclusion that either the state’s forensic unit sucks at what it does or that it was attempting to make the evidence fit the false narrative crafted by the officers who participated in the raid.

Charges are being added to existing charges Officer Goines faces as the fallout from the raid continues, the Houston Chronicle reports.

A federal grand jury on Wednesday charged two former Houston police officers at the center of a failed January drug raid with civil rights violations, falsifying records and lying about use of confidential informants, marking the latest turn in one of the worst HPD scandals in decades.

[...]

Authorities allege [Gerald Goines] fabricated an informant and lied on a search warrant affidavit, an offense report and the tactical plan made in preparation for the bust that turned into a gun battle that ended with the deaths of Nicholas and Tuttle and with five HPD officers injured.

And it wasn’t just Officer Goines lying. The investigation of the Tuttle residence began with a 911 call -- supposedly from Rhogena Nicholas’ mother -- saying the couple were doing drugs and had guns in the house.

But it wasn’t someone’s overly-concerned mother. It was actually a neighbor. This neighbor is now facing charges for her part in the tragedy.

Federal investigators said they believe they have the 911 caller who made false accusations that led to the botched raid of a Harding Street home, leaving two dead and two former officers looking at prison time.

Patricia Garcia, a 53-year-old woman, was picked up Wednesday morning from the house directly across the street from the scene of the deadly Jan. 8 raid. Garcia is alleged to have falsely stated her daughter was at the home located at 7815 Harding St. and that she believed there were guns and drugs inside of the residence.

This isn’t the end of this debacle, but every new development says nothing good about the Houston PD’s narcotics unit or the department’s leadership. Chief Art Acovedo spoke out against these officers, but only after the original narrative -- the one Goines is charged with creating -- became impossible to defend.

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