KPRC 2 Legal Analyst Brian Wice breaks down possible charges for officers in drug raid
HOUSTON – Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo maintained during a news conference Friday that the Houston Police Department had reason to investigate claims of drug activity at 7815 Harding Street.
"We have no evidence that we were just there willy-nilly," Acevedo said.
Acevedo's comments came after KPRC 2 revealed an affidavit that alleges the case agent, Officer Gerald Goines, lied in order to get a judge to sign a no-knock warrant, claiming a confidential informant bought black heroin at the house.
Acevedo said Goines likely will be charged with something. If so, then what?
"The possible charges, in this case, run the gamut from Class A Misdemeanor, official oppression, to the third-degree felonies of tampering with a government document and aggravated perjury," said KPRC 2 Legal Analyst Brian Wice.
Bottom line: It’s a mess, one the case agent likely won’t get out of any time soon.
The Houston Police Department continues to investigate what led to the shooting, in which four Houston police officers were shot and the two homeowners were killed. Depending on the investigation's findings, Wice says the charge could be worse.
"Depending on how one looks at the evidence, it is not entirely a stretch to say that at least the case agent, Officer Goines, may be charged – or at least could be charged – with felony murder," Wice said.
How? Well, it’s on the books: Texas Penal Code 19.02.
Wice explained its meaning.
“If you commit one felony, in this case, aggravated perjury, or tampering with a government document, and in the course of, or in furtherance of the commission of that first felony, you engage in conduct that is clearly dangerous to human life, and somebody dies, that’s felony murder," Wice said.
Any charge would have to wait until the completion of that internal investigation. If it is concluded that Officer Goines intentionally gave false information to get the initial no-knock warrant, Wice says: “If he knew that that warrant had the force and effect of last week’s losing lotto ticket, and he’s at the front door getting ready to achieve entry, he’s no longer a cop. He’s a home invader with a badge and a gun.”
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