HOUSTON – On Wednesday, Houston police tweeted the full 66-page audit of the HPD Narcotics Division that was ordered after the botched January 2019 Harding Street raid.
The internal review of the department’s narcotics division from Jan. 28, 2016 to Jan. 28, 2019 was ordered after the fatal raid left Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas dead.
For months, state lawmakers and activists demanded the release of the publicly-funded audit and the department’s release of the report came the same day as Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg’s new felony charges against six former Houston police officers including Gerald Goines and Steven Bryant.
The audit revealed a glaring lack of supervision within the HPD Narcotics Division with the major recommendation highlighting a need for greater “supervisory oversight.”
“The audit reviewed a total of 231 investigations completed by SPO Goines and Bryant between 2016-2019 to determine the types and frequency of errors discovered,” the report reads. “The results of the examination found 404 errors (some with multiple errors in the same case tracking number).”
Of the cases 84 cases that Goines was the primary case agent, 38% used informants for controlled buys of drugs and 36% of controlled buys yielded search warrants, the audit found. Of the 147 cases in which Bryant was the primary case agent, 63% used informants for controlled buys and 21% of controlled buys yielded search warrants. Bryant also assisted Goines on 27% of the cases reviewed in the audit.
One major issue found by the audit was expense discrepancies including incorrect amounts, incorrect addresses and inaccurate weight of drugs.
The audit found of cases Goines worked on:
- Failed to tag drugs before the end of a shift in 48% of cases
- There were missing case review sheets in 29% of cases
- There were expense discrepancies in 27% of cases
- Case tracking errors in 23% of cases
The audit found of cases Bryant worked on:
- 31% of cases had missing case review sheets
- He failed to turn in case files in 18% of cases
- He made late case tracking entries in 16% of cases
- There were errors in the thoroughness of investigation in 10% of cases
After the audit was complete, the standard operating procedures for the HPD Narcotics Division were revised in Dec. 2019 based on recommendations made in the report. Some of the recommendations from the audit include more supervisory oversight, revisions to the confidential informants are handled, changes to the “no-knock” warrant policy and changes to the way warrants are executed.
READ: Full audit report tweeted by Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo