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Phony Houston Drug Warrant Prompts FBI Investigation and Review of 1,400 Cases

Lying to justify a search that killed two people could be a capital crime.

Harris County District Attorney's OfficeHarris County District Attorney's OfficeThe fraudulent search warrant that authorized last month's deadly Houston drug raid has prompted an FBI investigation and a review of more than 1,400 cases involving the narcotics officer who obtained the warrant.

"The FBI Houston Field Office has opened an independent civil rights investigation into allegations that a search warrant obtained by Houston police officers was based on false, fabricated information," the FBI announced in a press release yesterday. "The execution of that search warrant at 7815 Harding Street, Houston, TX, on January 28, 2019, resulted in the deaths of Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle as well as serious injuries to several Houston police officers."

Officer Gerald Goines, who was shot in the neck during the no-knock raid, obtained the warrant by claiming that he had sent a confidential informant into the house on January 27 to buy heroin from a man matching Tuttle's description. The C.I. supposedly returned with "a quantity of brown powder substance," subsequently identified as black-tar heroin, and reported that there many more bags of it in the house, along with a 9mm semi-automatic handgun. Police found neither of those things, or any other evidence of drug dealing, when they searched the house the next day after they killed Nicholas and Tuttle during a shootout they started by breaking into the house and killing the couple's dog with a shotgun.

After two informants named by Goines and every other C.I. known to work with him denied participating in the "controlled buy" he described, investigators concluded that Goines had invented the episode. Goines "lied in an affidavit," Police Chief Art Acevedo said last Friday, and "more than likely...will be charged with a serious crime." Under Texas law, lying in a search warrant affidavit is aggravated perjury, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison. Under federal law, willfully depriving someone of his constitutional rights "under color of any law" is punishable by a prison term up to life or by execution "if death results."

The Harris County District Attorney's Office, meanwhile, is examining "more than 1,400 criminal cases" in which Goines has been involved since joining the Houston Police Department in 1984. "Our duty is to see that justice is done in every case," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a press release yesterday. "Although the criminal investigation of Officer Goines is ongoing, we have an immediate ethical obligation to notify defendants and their lawyers in Goines' other cases to give them an opportunity to independently review any potential defenses." The defendants in 27 pending cases were notified yesterday, while "notification in older cases will be ongoing."

Judges routinely rubber-stamp search warrant applications like the one that Goines submitted in this case, where a single officer acting on an anonymous tip claims to have arranged a drug purchase by an unnamed C.I. Since there is no way for the judge to verify the applicant's claims, he simply has to trust that the cop is not making shit up. Once it is clear that a cop is willing to make shit up, that trust evaporates, calling into question the validity of every search warrant he has ever obtained. As the Houston Chronicle reported last week, Goines had already been accused of perjury and mishandling evidence in an ongoing drug case where he was also suspected of inventing a C.I. It seems likely that many defendants will have grounds to challenge convictions based on Goines' testimony or on evidence discovered in searches authorized by warrants that he obtained.

"We welcome closer scrutiny into his work," Nicole DeBorde, a lawyer for Goines, told The New York Times. "He's been a police officer for 35 years, and what I'm hearing is that he's a man of integrity and his colleagues think highly of him." If so, one has to wonder what integrity means within the Houston Police Department's Narcotics Division.

Addendum: By noting that judges cannot independently verify controlled buys described by narcotics officers, I did not mean to imply that there were no grounds for Houston Municipal Court Judge Gordon Marcum, who approved the warrant in this case, to be skeptical of Goines' affidavit. Tuttle and Nicholas had lived at 7815 Harding Street for more than three decades; they were well-known in the neighborhood and publicly listed as residents. Yet in his affidavit, Goines refers to Tuttle as "a white male, whose name is unknown." That should have been a red flag indicating that Goines' investigation, which supposedly "had been going on for approximately two (2) weeks," was less than thorough. Goines also said he "advised" the C.I. that "narcotics were being sold and stored" at the house, but he cited no evidence of that, notwithstanding his two-week investigation. Goines claimed another narcotics officer, Steven Bryant, recognized the brown powder as heroin, a detail that Bryant has since contradicted. One wonders what Bryant would have said if Marcum had asked him to verify Goines' account.

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  • Jerryskids||

    Since there is no way for the judge to verify the applicant's claims, he simply has to trust that the cop is not making shit up.

    No, the whole reason for having an independent third party issue a warrant is because you can't trust one single person with that kind of power. Even if the judge cannot verify or refute the applicant's claims, he sure as fuck is supposed to be skeptical, the default position on issuing a warrant isn't supposed to be "you get a warrant unless I can show good reason why you shouldn't", it's "you don't get a warrant unless you show good reason why you should". Start with the description of the address - you're not going out there to arrest a house, you're going out there to arrest the people who live in the house. Who are these people, why aren't their names on the warrant? If you don't even know who you're supposed to be arresting because you haven't done even the slightest bit of investigation, get the fuck out of here, you ain't getting no warrant.

  • Brandybuck||

    Not quite. The warrant needs to show what the search expects to find. It need not name all the residents of the place where the search is to happen.

    Because a valid informant could very well say "I bought some drugs at that house over there, I don't know who the owner is, but I know it is that house".

    That does NOT mean the judge shouldn't be skeptical. A partial solution may be simply to disallow confidential informants as sufficient for a warrant. Maybe the cop needs to bring the CI before the judge. Or the cop needs additional justification.

    But the ULTIMATE solution is to get rid of the stupid drug war. Get rid of the drug war. All of these kinds of issues would instantly evaporate.

  • Jerryskids||

    Well, that wasn't really my point - it's that if the cops don't even know who the homeowners are, it should probably raise some suspicion on the part of the judge that the cops aren't even making any rudimentary investigation into the matter. Like the cops who flash-banged the baby in the crib because they had no idea there might be children in the house - they're so gung-ho to get in there and play GI Joe that they don't know, don't care about the particulars. The judge needs to be the adult in the room and make sure the cops know what the hell they're getting into, which in this case they obviously didn't.

  • ThomasD||

    Yeah, "we've been investigating for weeks, but haven't ID'd the guy" is either a matter of "didn't bother" or "this guy is extra suspicious because we can't ID him."

    In this day and age there really isn't much in between.

  • belle7s||

    Ah, so Google is snatching up all the good talent but having third party employees post their salaries and job testimonials on Reason's comment boards... Well no wonder the number of competent Narc officers is falling.

  • belle7s||

    by, not but....

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Of course, the home owner isn't necessarily resident in the home. Many communities have a significant number of single family homes on the rental market.

  • Erisian||

    Mr Slyfield, your assertion about homes on the rental market, while being correct, does not apply in this case. As per the article: "Tuttle and Nicholas had lived at 7815 Harding Street for more than three decades; they were well-known in the neighborhood and publicly listed as residents..." It is a reasonable argument to say that the neighbors would know if they were living next to drug dealers for 30+ years.

  • ThomasD||

    Even if the residents were not the legal owners of the property there are myriad ways they might have been identified, especially by law enforcement - car registrations, driver license address, credit agency reports, etc.

    Not too long ago I was completing a credit application online. It included the "which of these addresses have you not lived at" question. The list included several places I had lived, but not for well over twenty years.

    An address gets you names, the names get you driver licenses, the DLs give you pictures.

  • ||

    All of these kinds of issues would instantly evaporate.

    I disagree in letter but not in spirit. This is/was essentially a SWATting by a police officer and there are plenty of other cases where SWATting took place without even the implication of drugs being involved. Getting rid of the drug war will likely decrease these sorts of issues. Getting rid of qualified immunity will likely decrease them further. Getting rid of police and/or public sector unions may have an even further effect. The drug war is just one of many potential causes.

  • Brandybuck||

    There is so much crime generated by the drug war, that elimination of it would be a massive culture change both among criminals and among law enforcement. Hell, organized crime basically came about in this country due to prohibition. It existed before but never to any scale.

    There's always going to be some police over-reaction to victimless crimes. But narcotics use/transactions are biggest victimless crime out there, it changes the culture. I simply cannot imagine the same sort of no-knock-dog-shooting raids over a poker game. Yes, that shit happens, but only because the drug war created that shit culture. After we get rid of the drug war, maybe we can start on the war against gambling and prostitution and raw milk and unlicensed hair braiding.

  • Bubba Jones||

    The fbi was invented by prohibition.

  • Naaman Brown||

    The Bureau of Investigation predated Prohibition. And they did not have arrest powers or guns until they were given jurisdiction over bank robbers and similar interstate criminals after repeal of Prohibition.

    Prohibition created the Bureau of Prohibition which became the Alcohol Tax Unit after repeal, then became the Alcohol Tobacco Tax Division, and ultimately became the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms after the 1968 Gun Control Act (basicly the sin tax agency).

  • Flinch||

    It occurred to me years ago: there is no bottom to legalism. Trying to fix everything with law is a mistake, with huge negative repercussions. What do we get... 4% safer in exchange for 75% loss of freedom? Bad deal [and expensive to boot].

  • Cynical Asshole||

    After we get rid of the drug war, maybe we can start on the war against gambling and prostitution and raw milk and unlicensed hair braiding.

    I wouldn't bet on it. They'll just amp up their efforts on all those various other "wars."

  • ||

    There is so much crime generated by the drug war, that elimination of it would be a massive culture change both among criminals and among law enforcement.

    I don't disagree with this statement. However, I don't think ending the drug war tomorrow would effectively change the culture or reverse the cultural impact. I think any implication of the drug war in Philando Castille's death was contrived and illusory and that, short of travelling back in time and wiping the drug war from history going back more than half a century, Castille still would've been shot. I'm exceedingly certain that Daniel Shavers was shot dead, on his knees, unarmed, begging for his life for the simple reason that officers need to go home safe at night.

  • BambiB||

    I think the majority of cops "make shit up". It might not result in deaths of innocents - but there's a whole range of areas where cops routinely "make shit up" - from traffic stops to murder. My own brother was nearly killed by a drunk cop who "made shit up" expecting my brother either wouldn't survive or wouldn't be able to remember what happened and expecting that no savvy investigator would catch on. His buddy cops covered for him.
    In the end, the facts forced the cop's insurance company to pay out for the smashed leg and crushed arm, but to the best of my knowledge he was never charged with a crime.

    But there's a broader lesson here: Maybe 2% to 5% of all cops are outright criminals - committing crimes to enrich themselves and destroy others. But the remaining 95%-98% are just as guilty because they know they're covering for a criminal. There need to be a lot more criminal prosecutions of cops, including conspiracy and RICO charges for their accomplices.

  • Still Curmudgeoned (Nunya)||

    See something, say something only applies to us peasants.

  • Tionico||

    the VAST MAJORITY of such raids, and MOST no knock (don't want them flushing two tonnes of merry hootchie down the loo, now, do we?) are the rotten fruit of the drug war. Take THAT unconstitutionsl charade off the table, nearly all the rest collapses into a steaming pile. Along with the drugs come weapons issues, phoney ID, huge amounts of cash and its laundering, human trafficking of various sorts... end the illegal drug war and all those connections will also be broken. It will also remove one of the key drivers for the current illegal alien invasion crisis, as much of that is driven by the prohibited substance trade.... importing, playing the mule, traffick in illicit arms, money laundering, stolen cars, some kidnappings,

    NOWHERE in our Federal Constitution are FedGov assigned ANY AUTHORITY over what we do/do not put into pur bodies. NONE. That is a state issue.. let each state deal with the matter as their citizens see fit.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I wholeheartedly agree! If the Drug War had some record of success - some periods when it was actually difficult to obtain illegal drugs in any major cities - one MIGHT be able to make a case for it, and the associated erosion of civil rights. Might. As matters stand, it serves largely as an excuse for grown men to play Elitists Ness with live ammunition; a situation fraught with possibilities, most of them bad.

  • Eddy||

    Any proceeding which is ex parte (hearing from one side only) is going to be skewed toward the sole party which provides the evidence. At best they'll disclose potentially exculpatory evidence but only to discredit it and explain it away. At worst they'll just use the evidence that helps them, not the evidence which hurts them.

    And the assumption is that you can't hear from both sides because tipping off the suspect means they'll flee, or destroy the evidence, or what have you.

    I don't know if it would work to have an advocatus diaboli to pick apart the warrant applications, based on local knowledge informed by skepticism.

  • Sonny Bono's Ghost||

    "I don't know if it would work to have an advocatus diaboli to pick apart the warrant applications, based on local knowledge informed by skepticism."

    We do know that it doesn't work. Devil's advocate is precisly the role the Judge is supposed to play - the Devil specifically is the citizen whose Rights may be in jeopardy of infringment by fraudulent claims made by abusive authority figures. The Judge is your first line of defense.

  • Non Sequitur||

    I agree that the ultimate solution is to end the drug war. However, as for warrant applications, in general, Judges and Magistrates should require corroboration. One source should never be enough. Until recently, one source wasn't enough for journalists to publish a story. One source shouldn't, in most cases, be enough to invoke the power of the State to invade your home and murder you and your animals.

    In the instant case, surveillance could have been conducted. Searches of trash cans. Monitoring who comes and goes. An actual police officer could have gone undercover and tried to do a buy to confirm the CI's information.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Ah yes. It's a search warrant. Not a home invasion warrant.

    To that end, the announcement that they are going to "end" no knock raids in Houston is a huge improvement.

    I think a cop's sworn testimony is likely sufficient to justify a search. But not sufficient to justify an invasion.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    The end of no knock warrants in Huston may or may not be any kind of improvement. I've ready about plenty of cases where they treated a search as a home invasion by a SWAT team even without a no knock warrant.

    What happens is that they knock and announce, but then bust in the door without giving even a person standing only 10 feet away from the door enough time to respond. And just because they knock and announce, how do you know that they really are cops without asking to see Their IDs/badges before you open the door.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Consider how less often we'd have this corruption, if the law didn't make consensual activity illegal, where no victim is involved in the activity. One would hope judges would want good evidence for a no knock raid where violence occurs and is started by the police. Such tactics should be very rare.

  • Jerryskids||

    I also have to add, kudos to Sully for following this story, but why is their a picture of Meryl Streep at the top of the article?

  • Longtobefree||

    She will have the role in the fictionalized account of the case. In the movie, the victims will be black democratic socialists, the cops white and Trump supporters. Ms. Streep will play the role of the Judge, deeply questioning the white Trump supporting cops, but ultimately falling for their lies.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    And Ms. Streep will win her fourth Best Actress Oscar.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    They give awards out for the 4th best actress now? They really will award anything.

  • Longtobefree||

    Haven't watched in years, but I think everyone is tied for last, as participant.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    The devil wears SWATa.

  • ThomasD||

    nice.

  • Dillinger||

    yeah that's funny

  • Johnimo||

    That's not Meryl Streep.

  • Longtobefree||

    Maybe, maybe not. We have to fond out if she feels like Meryl Streep.

  • Longtobefree||

    Find out.
    Oh, Dr, Freud, what you make me do - - - -

  • fafalone||

    "Under federal law, willfully depriving someone of his constitutional rights "under color of any law" is punishable by a prison term up to life or by execution "if death results.""

    'However this court finds that in recognition of all the hard work this dedicated public servant put in to protecting this community, a sentence of one year of probation best reflects a just outcome.'

    (After the 1% chance of the case being taken to the grand jury, the 1% chance the DA doesn't throw the presentation to get no-indictment, and the 1% chance that the jury convicts at trial).

    And the media will dutifully relay the police union's argument that it's just too much to ask for cops to do their jobs without trampling on people's constitutional rights, so if we punish them for it they'll sit in their squad cars and pout instead of do their jobs, and crime will destroy the world.

  • Sonny Bono's Ghost||

    This won't go anywhere because its not just a dirty cop's badge at stake. Any judge who signed off on any warrants that are found to have been issued on fabricated evidence is potentially culpable. They know this. This will die in process.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    If there's any justice left to be found in America every one of those pigs will fry.

  • Brandybuck||

    All it takes is one cop frying and the others will get the message that they're supposed to protect and serve, not perjure and shoot.

    I know lots of good cops. Friends. People I've gone to school with. People who just started their law enforcement careers, those who got out in disgust, those who've died on the job. The problem is not the officers, the problem is the system that perpetuates a culture of coercion, "authoritah", and corruption.

  • Trainer||

    No, "the system" is made up of people and can't exist without people allowing it to exist. For every bad cop out there doing crap like this, there has to be a whole crew of bad cops not speaking up and that's every cop in the department.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    "All it takes is one cop frying and the others will get the message that they're supposed to protect and serve, not perjure and shoot."

    Sorry, no, they have sent a few cops to jail before so I don't think even "frying" one will change things.

    Maybe if the "fry" a LOT of them.

  • cravinbob||

    Yeah, right. Like people who have "buried too many from overdoses" but ask them to name one and ... crickets. Police investigate themselves and find no wrong doing. Police who quit because violations of Rights they refuse to commit are total losers. They are supposed to arrest the officer(s) that are ordering or orchestrating the violation of Rights.
    Do not deny this is not a police state and proven by the fact that nobody noticed any problems. There is no mention of police in The Constitution. They are the standing army for politicians protection. those that pass laws they cannot even recite.
    Nothing will come of this and nothing changes, they are cops and judges, the power of life and death. Crime is their bread and butter. The problem is the officers and the judges. And the citizen copsuckers who think they are protected.

  • Star1988||

    "All it takes is one cop frying and the others will get the message that they're supposed to protect and serve, not perjure and shoot."

    Uh no. Punishment needs to be swift and certain for it to be a deterrent. One cop being punished will have no effect whatsoever. It's like the drug war itself, it doesn't work because most dealers/users, most of the time will never get caught. Punishment only works when it is swift and certain.

  • Sonny Bono's Ghost||

    Nobody is asking why a cop might feel compelled to do this. It follows that Judges do not do their jobs and cops are execessively pressured to collect collars in order to advance their careers, thus incentivising this form of corruption. The system itself is implicated here.

  • Trainer||

    Have you read this guys Goines background? He seems to like a good shoot out and is apparently happy lie to create one for the fun of it. I don't think you can blame anyone else for his little fetish.

  • Duelles||

    Even a competent journalist should be using multiple sources for a story. . . Which likely doesn't end in death. Of course, that standard is disappearing as well. Knee jerk, I generally appreciate the work of cops over journalists. Some bad apple in Houston. Hope they fix the pending and old cases if they are found wanting.

  • Trainer||

    HPD is all bad apples. If you aren't actively breaking the law, you're helping them cover it up or looking the other way while others are.

  • DetroitDumbGuy||

    I've been following this story pretty closely, but I hadn't realized that Goines was shot during the raid. I suppose that is a small consolation given his abhorrent behavior.

    As many here have already pointed out, it's time do away with no knock raids. The only justification for such raids are for bitch ass police officers to play army man and put civilian lives at risk. If they want to shoot each fine, but leave the rest of us out of it...

  • Dillinger||

    >>>do away with no knock raids

    this^ if HPD knocked here, we would have living citizens and dog

  • Brandybuck||

    But then they might flush all those bags of mysterious brown powder down the toilet! Think of the alligators!

  • Tionico||

    Another lie to uphold the myth.

    Any quantity worthy of the big raid (more than a handful of dime bags) would take a LONG TIME to flush down, particularly if the stuff is in the size/type of packet the alledged but non-existent informant alledgedly claimed to have bought, and seen, inside the alledged drug house. How long does it take the tank to refill on those flow-restricted loos? And wiht 1.6 gallons per flush, good luck getting much of it to go down quickly. Many of those mandated devices take two or three flushes to make a big turd disappear, slowly.
    Sorry, that bit of fluff for an excuse does not hold water.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Voting libertarian to force looters to abolish prohibition laws? Nah. "It really wouldn't interest anybody outside of a small circle of friends."

  • Longtobefree||

    AKA witnesses?
    Who could testify?

  • A Thinking Mind||

    The funny thing is that initial reports took the fact that he got shot to aggrandize him, praising him for being so brave and such a hard working good guy. As it turns out, all he got was slightly less than he deserved.

  • DetroitDumbGuy||

    Exactly. And I'd be willing to bet it was friendly fire. Though I'm sure the boys on the other side of the thin blue line will blame the innocent people who were murdered by the fearless heroes who executed this farce of a raid.

  • Trainer||

    They probably did shoot each other because no one is asking who got shot by whom. The police did say that one of the cops was shot by the homeowner which leads me to believe that they know the others weren't.

  • Curmudgeon44||

    Initial reports said the homeowner came out blazing with a .357 magnum. Weirdly specific because those are hard to shoot rapid fire with any accuracy. Well maybe he did, but in later reports I see no mention of .357 magnum. Just wondering if that was made up too.

  • Trainer||

    A .357 isn't listed in the results of the search. Someone mentioned that it may have been because it was sent to ballistics but it still seems like it should have been included in the list of weapons found in the house since it was, well, found in the house. The fact that police aren't coming out and saying specifically that Tuttle shot them all is telling. It's all just "four officers were shot" and not "Tuttle shot 4 officers". If the gun that Tuttle had had been the one that shot all four, they would have been shouting it from the roof tops.

  • Sonny Bono's Ghost||

    I'm old enough to remember whne SWAT teams only existed in large cities, and for the exclusive purpose of responding to hostage situations, and seiges against entrenched armed criminals. Servng warrants was never ther intended purpose. No better example of hammer seeing everything as nail exists. If you want to see a shooting during a warrant service, simply send in an armed hit-squad. I guarantee you those guys are dissapointed when the bullets fail to fly.

  • Dillinger||

    i mean that's fucking sweet and all, but the Overlords of Scandal in charge of oversight @HPD is a joke in itself

  • $park¥ is the Worst||

    One wonders what Bryant would have said if Marcum had asked him to verify Goines' account.

    "No fucking way am I going down with that asshole!"

  • ThomasD||

    Here's hoping the Houston PD's colonoscopy is thorough, public, and painful.

  • Sonny Bono's Ghost||

    The stink follows the shit. Acevedo has left his scent all across Tejas.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Once it is clear that a cop is willing to make shit up, that trust evaporates, calling into question the validity of every search warrant he has ever obtained.

    If only that wasn't limited to the one officer and retroactively.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Is it expected that a judge would undertake an independent verification of the claims in a warrant?

    Was the judge supposed to conduct a public records search?

    Or is that something the defense attorney does on the back end?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    The C.I. supposedly returned with lying asshat of a cop obtained "a quantity of brown powder substance," he claimed subsequently identified as to be black-tar heroin but was really a small bag of brown sugar from his kitchen.

    FTFY.

    I hope that pig ends up in prison for a very long time and gets passed around the cell block like a peace pipe.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Under Texas law, lying in a search warrant affidavit is aggravated perjury, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison. Under federal law, willfully depriving someone of his constitutional rights "under color of any law" is punishable by a prison term up to life or by execution "if death results."

    I am curious about one thing: did the cops who flash-banged that toddler in Georgia a few years ago ever get charged with anything, or would the toddler have had to die as opposed to just being horribly burned and disfigured in order for any justice to be served?

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Pretty sure there weren't any charges there.

    Indeed the family might not have even gotten any recompense the last I heard.

    The city was fighting it tooth and nail.

  • D-Pizzle||

    "All departmental policies and procedures were followed...."

  • Falcon53||

    I would be willing to make an exception to my opposition of the death penalty in this case. If he is guilty of what has been alleged, he should be executed.

  • Hank Phillips||

    I am absolutely in favor of the death penalty for these murderers, and by the State, not bounty hunters or vigilantes as the new LP Platform demands. The alternative is to enslave the citizen via taxes to keep these monsters housed and fed in warmth and comfort. If chaingangs or workhouses could let murderers pay their keep and maybe some restitution, then room and board alternatives might start looking good again.

  • Falcon53||

    I would be willing to make an exception to my opposition of the death penalty in this case. If he is guilty of what has been alleged, he should be executed.

  • dwshelf||

    In an otherwise great summary of the case, the audience is limited by "making shit up", which seems, well, more colloquial than professional.

  • Slickrick||

    I am glad Sullum added the addendum otherwise I was quite perplexed. If I had been that judge I would have had a LOT of questions. "Get better evidence" would have been the judicious thing to do.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Sullum's reporting is reminding me of the Love Canal story. The callous murders show the difference a functioning LP makes in changing the laws. When Houstom cops murdered Joe Campos Torres in 1977, they got a slap on the wrist and Austin band Uranium Savages was forced to recut its LP to remove a song critical of the execution--a song South Texas deejays played incessantly before the gag order. Nowadays an actual murderer is identified by name, and there is even some mumbling about a HARD slap on the wrist. That might not seem like much progress in 42 years, but for prohibitionist redneck Houston it's a YUGE change.

  • Flinch||

    Harris County has long been a problem child - they tried to drop I-10 speed limit to 55 while the rest of the state had moved to 70, [blaming the EPA] years ago. Signs went up overnight following an alleged public hearing, but took months to come down - no RICO case was pursued for this transparent con job of taxation posing as public safety. If you've ever driven clear across Texas...55 is already punishment before they even pop the speed trap - and that assumes they stuck to the usual custom of issuing warnings for infractions of 5mph or less over the limit, letting people do 60 in most cases.
    The statist mindset showed it's teeth in an incredible case a few years back where the Houston mayor was demanding written transcripts of church sermons [in search of creating some kind of hate crime narrative for the media]. I note churches are open door - anyone wants to come in and hear the preacher for themselves is free to do so. I try to stay away whenever possible: the town lives on CNN and USA Today, which is to say it's gaslight city: they don't know up from down on any subject, and oil companies pay 3x market value for just about everything - those managers would get the boot in one month trying to run a walmart.

  • Curmudgeon44||

    Nearby Fort Bend county has some advantages. Plus, Houston has an active drug and gay scene.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    A Capital Crime.......for everyone who handled that warrant request, and put it into action when granted.
    This gives a new dimension to the term "Testilying".

  • MarkJ-||

    I apply the "what if it were me" standard.

    And by that standard everyone involved in these murders needs to be prosecuted exactly the same as you and I would be in a similar situation. -- From the Judge on down to the last officer on scene.

  • Two Buck Chuck||

    I hope this guy gets shived in the big house.

  • Tionico||

    I hope he gets a LONG term tenancy in the SMALL house.... the six by three. Six feet under.

    His lies ended two lives. His life, per biblical justice, is forfeit.
    Make it so.

  • Longtobefree||

    Three; don't forget Rover

  • Flinch||

    My worst fears were confirmed upon learning the warrant served was a no-knock. Except where persons inside are known to be in imminent danger, the practice endangers everybody. Ban it as a general practice, and put the head goon running a crime syndicate with a badge in Houston in jail. I bet his badge says "to project and swerve". We need our cops, but Acevedo is a hack and his coverup bluster of a press conference in the wake of the incident tells me he never needs to wear a badge anywhere, ever again. For the moment, I'm suspecting the 'confidential informant' was actually another police officer producing a "case" from whole cloth with a phone that went in a trash bin. If so... murder 1.

  • Sympatica||

    Damn cops. We are tired of them killing our pets, our family members and us. This SOB needs to get the death penalty. No doubt the cop union will yell to high heaven that this will put a " chill" on police activities--- GOOD.

  • Tionico||

    We cannot get back the two innocents that died. But, given they are gone, this is good news..... the whole thing stunk.

    The biblical punishment for bearing false witness, which this clearly is, is for the liar to suffer the fate of those about whom he lied... or if they did not suffer any harm, the liar is to suffer the punishment the falsely accused WOULD have gotten had the lies been true.

    This NEEDS to happen, as the affadavit was a fabrication. It appears the DA in Harris County is hoppin mad.. and I'm glad she is. If this sort of garbage is allowed to continue without, every cop in the nation will now be without serious cause to hesitate before concocting a fairy tale.

    Good to see the DA is quick to review ALL cases involving this guy. doing as much as she can to conrol the damage.
    It does make me wonder how many other coppers on that force got a whiff of Goines' lying.... and are thus complicit by NOT blowing the whistle on the creep.

    Stuff like this happens and cops/government folks wonder why cops are so seriously mistrusted. Most all of us have had a few run-ins with nasty crooked dishonest cops, and been verbally and at times physically and financially abused. Personally, I do all I can to simply NOT talk to those guys.. and that means driving legally enough to not attract attention thus giving them an excuse to "have a chat". No thanks.

  • BradA||

    Wow! So the FBI is suddenly concerned about warrants that were obtained based on lies. But where is the FBI Investigation regarding FISA warrants that were also issued based on lies and misrepresentations ? ...
    Crickets.

  • ||

    And who were the co-conspirator judges that ignored the glaring flaws in the applications for those warrants? They sure are keeping mum now, the seditious nincompoops.

  • Longtobefree||

    The FISA investigation is complete. Procedures were followed.
    Besides, Trump - - -

  • Carter Mitchell||

    If they convict Goines and the other murderers, and need volunteers to insert the needle, I'm sure there will be a plethora of volunteers from civic-minded citizens across the country. It would be an honor.

  • Naaman Brown||

    People keep bringing up the Baby Bou Bou case. If anyone thinks the FBI coming in on the Tuttle case means justice, don't hold your breath.

    3:00am 28 May 2014. In a no-knock raid Cornelia GA PD SWAT deliberately threw a "flash bang" grenade into a home during a drug raid. (They did not "accidentally drop it" as some accounts say.) The grenade landed in a crib where a 19-month-old toddler was sleeping. The explosion ripped his chest open exposing his rib bones, burned his face, and obliterated his nose. One side of the baby's playpen was blown out, charring the pillow and mattress.

    There were no arrests made and nothing found at the house. The target of the raid was the boy's father's nephew who had been kicked out of the house for bad behavior. The county sheriff's department asked the hospital to send the bills to the county. The county board decided it would violate the law to pay the hospital bills.

    \cont'd\

  • Naaman Brown||

    In defense against the suit brought on behalf of lead plaintiff Bou Bou by his family, the authorities' defense was boilerplate legalese: they were not responsible because "plaintiffs' damages, if any, were directly and proximately caused by the contributory and comparative negligence of plaintiffs and their failure to exercise ordinary care" and any injuries or damages "were caused by the deliberate, criminal conduct of plaintiffs." The 19 month-old toddler's injuries and damages were the result of his contributory and comparative negligence, failure to exercise ordinary care, and deliberate criminal conduct. He deserved nada.

    After investigating, FBI filed charges only against the undercover deputy for lying about her informant buying meth at the home and her claims of heavy drug traffic at the home. Jul 2015 she was indicted by a federal grand jury. Her attorney argued at trial that she was being made a scapegoat for the conduct of others; she was acquitted in Dec 2015. No others were tried.

    By 28 Feb 2016 the family been awarded a total of $3.6 million in settlements; the baby (decribed as permanently disfigured) was still receiving reconstructive surgery. The way the payment was structured, funds were not available to pay for the treatment already received, and payment for continued treatment necessary would be delayed. The last of the settlement will not be paid until sometime after Bou Bou turns 18 (2033).

  • Naaman Brown||

  • markuzick||

    As long as the state can rob, kidnap, imprison, and murder people for innocent activities, all this blabber about warrants and rights is just a fig leaf of pretend legitimacy. Totalitarians always give lip service to written protections that they have no intention of honoring; to believe that obeying their rules will protect you, only means you're a fool. Do you want constitutional protections? Then stop asking for laws making innocent actions into crimes. (And that goes for you too, Trumptards.)

  • Alan@.4||

    Be most interesting to see how this cookie crumbles, or to view the màneuvering needed to keep it from crumbling, if that goal can be accomplished.

  • Alan@.4||

    On additional thought, actually a question comes to mind, that being as follows. When and where, here??, are the forces of Law and Order, so-called going to be, or ever actually called to task for their screw-ups, a term that might well put the thing forward with an excess of politeness, as some more blunt spoken people would describe it as CRIMINALITY.

  • BlueCat57||

    Looks like we may have to start rethinking that "rank and file" are not corrupt narrative. Not only are politically appointed law enforcement officials corrupt, but now even the "rand and file" might not be as pure as the wind-driven snow.

    Time to put a criminal defence attorney on speed dial. Call first, and don't talk to anyone until you are represented. Even if it is just a fender bender. Your phone may be unlawfully searched and what is on it misinterpreted getting you arrested.

  • JrJr||

    hmmm....the officer is a black guy and the house they raided had two white people in it.
    Now it turns out that maybe this officer has been fabricating warrants etc.

    Where are the protest marches...the tv interviews about this being a racist cop...?

    Change the story around & this would be a shit storm.

  • Henry||

    You know, unless somebody ends up doing some hard time over this, don't bother me. I'm tired of sound and fury "justice" procedure that ends up signifying nothing.

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