HOUSTON — Former Houston police officers Steven Bryant and Gerald Goines have been indicted in the botched drug raid on Harding Street that left two people dead.
A grand jury has indicted Goines for felony murder and tampering with a government document. Bryant has been indicted for tampering with a government document.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said her office is focused on finding justice for victims Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle and for Harris County residents whose “trust was betrayed by these officers.”
Federal prosecutors said Goines lied on multiple search warrant applications, was “nowhere near” Harding Street the day before the raid and had an ongoing sexual relationship with a confidential informant, a violation of Houston Police Department policy.
Goines’ attorney said prosecutors don’t have “a shred of evidence to support a conclusion that Mr. Goines is either a flight risk or a danger to the community.” He is dealing with medical issues because of the raid and would comply with all requirements if released, she wrote.
The details of the alleged crimes point to Goines’ danger to the community, prosecutors wrote in court documents.
In the days after the deadly Jan. 28 raid, Goines named two different informants as the Harding Street buyer. After they and three other of Goines’ other informants denied involvement, Goines claimed he made the buy himself on Jan. 27.
At the time, Goines could not speak because he was recovering from a gunshot wound. His handwritten answers were included in the filing.
“There was no confidential informant,” he wrote. Later adding, “I screwed up because I made a buy without the correct manpower out there,” according to court documents. But Goines was “nowhere near that location on that date,” investigators learned after reviewing GPS records from his cell phone, according to court records.
Goines and Bryant were arrested Nov. 20. Patricia Ann Garcia, a 911 caller, was also arrested in connection to the raid.
After Garcia, a Harding Street neighbor, made the alleged false 911 call about Tuttle and Nicholas, the tip was passed on to the narcotics division, but Goines “appears to have conducted no follow-up investigation” before asking for a search warrant, according to court documents filed by the prosecution.
Goines claimed that two baggies of heroin found in his city-issued vehicle were from Harding Street, but those bags were from another drug buy a week earlier on Napoleon Street that Goines also lied about on a search warrant, according to court records.
On a search warrant, he claimed to have watched his informant buy crack-cocaine, not heroin on Napoleon Street, but he wasn’t with the information when she made the buy. He abandoned executing that search warrant because SWAT was called to another call.
“Since the discovery of the lies contained in the defendant’s affidavit for the search warrant for the Napoleon Street address, investigators have discovered several other search warrants where it appears that the defendant has lied about (confidential informants) and controlled drug buys,” court records read.
Court records claim Goines also violated multiple HPD narcotic practices by not tagging evidence – heroin, crack cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana and a stolen gun were all found in Goines’ vehicle. He also met alone with confidential informants and maintained a sexual relationship with one of his informants for years, records show.
“Maintaining a sexual relationship with a CI is a major violation of HPD policies, and demonstrates the defendant’s willingness to flout rules and take advantage of opportunities unique to a police officer for his own benefit,” the court records read.