Houston District Attorney to Review 1,400 Cases Due to Drug Officer Lying
The Harris County District Attorney's Office in Houston announced Wednesday it has launched a review of more than 1,400 criminal cases that narcotics officer Gerald Goines worked on during his 34-year career at the Houston Police Department. The review includes 27 cases that are currently pending in court.
The undercover narcotics officer's work has come under intense scrutiny after a drug raid last month in south Houston in which two people were killed and five police officers were injured.
Goines lied on affidavits stating that a confidential informant obtained heroin from the home where the raid took place. After the raid, police said they found several firearms at the home, along with marijuana and cocaine. However, an investigation determined that there was no heroin.
Also after the raid, Houston police announced they were investigating whether Goines had lied on an affidavit used to secure the search warrant used in the raid. Upon the raid, the wounded officer wrote down the names of two confidential informants he said made undercover purchases in a Pecan Park residence were two residents died during the raid. Neither informant said they purchased drugs there.
Goines prepared the search warrant for the raid, he has since been suspended and it's likely he will face criminal charges, Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo said. CBS News reports that a leaked affidavit indicated the heroin was actually obtained elsewhere.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg says:
"Our duty is to see that justice is done in every case. 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."
FBI Houston Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner pledged in a statement to "collect all facts and evidence" in an impartial manner to determine whether federal charges are warranted.
Houston mayor Sylvester Turner announced that the drug raid will also be investigated by the city's Independent Police Oversight Board.