HOUSTON, Texas (KETK) – Two former Houston police officers are facing federal charges in connection with a botched drug raid that left two people dead and several officers injured.
Gerald Goines and Steven Bryant were arrested Thursday morning on charges of providing false information in a deadly January no-knock raid during which four officers including Goines were shot and 59-year-old Dennis Tuttle and 58-year-old Rhogena Nicholas, who both lived in the raided home, were killed. A fifth officer injured his knee during the shooting.
Federal authorities said the charges against Gerald Goines, 55, and Steven Bryant, 45, are the result of a civil rights investigation begun by the FBI following the botched Jan. 28 raid. Police alleged Goines lied to obtain a search warrant.
Goines was charged with seven counts, including two charges in which he is accused of depriving the couple of their constitutional right to be secure against unreasonable searches. Prosecutors allege the search warrant Goines prepared contained false statements and led to the raid, which resulted in the couple’s deaths and injuries to officers.
Bryant faces one count related to obstructing justice by falsifying records. He’s accused of falsely claiming in a report after the raid that he had identified as heroin a substance that was bought at the home before the raid.
Authorities allege Goines lied in the search warrant about having a confidential informant buy heroin at the home. Goines later acknowledged there was no informant and that he bought the drugs himself, authorities said.
Patricia Garcia, a neighbor of the slain couple, is accused of making fake 911 calls that led police to the home. She is facing one count of providing false information.
Federal prosecutors allege Garcia made several calls claiming her daughter was inside the couple’s home, that the couple were drug addicts, drug dealers and had guns inside their house.
Goines faces up to life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges related to depriving the couple of their constitutional right to be secure against unreasonable searches. Bryant faces up to 20 years in prison while Garcia faces up to five years if they’re convicted.
In state court, Goines is facing two felony murder counts while Bryant is charged with tampering with a government record.