The Houston police officer behind the botched drug raid in the Pecan Hills neighborhood had a suspicious history of sloppy police work, according to local news reports. The fact that he was allowed to continue conducting “investigations” that led to search warrants in spite of all of these red flags shows that the problem is systemic and not just confined to this particular officer.
Reports Show Officer Routinely Made Evidentiary Missteps
According to a report by KHOU 11 in Houston, the police officer responsible for initiating the drug raid that ended up killing two suspects and wounding several officers had a long history of red flags related to his work with evidence. Much of that work involved reporting the evidence that spawned a search warrant – one of the very first stages of a drug investigation.
According to the report, out of 109 search warrant cases that officer Goines led, an astonishing 20 percent of them ended up being dismissed for lack of probable cause or other issues related to the sufficiency of the evidence. That means that one in five of officer Goines' search warrants could not be backed up or supported with evidence. Additionally, 12 percent of the search warrants obtained by Goines' work led to drug busts of a different kind of drug.
This kind of shoddy police work went back to 2012, showing that officer Goines had been at it for a long time.
What This Means for the Houston Public
These reports might not sound like much to the Houston public, but they are very significant.
They mean that officer Goines would regularly obtain a search warrant for drugs – a warrant that would destroy someone's privacy and search every crevice of their home for evidence of any crime – with nothing solid to back it up. The very reason for requiring law enforcement to exhibit probable cause for a search warrant is to prevent police officers from getting one based on a hunch or a whim or simply because they feel like ruining someone's day. That officer Goines could do it on 20 percent of his search warrant applications and not get reprimanded may indicate that this is the way of business in Houston's narcotics police force.
The fact that officers would regularly come out of a drug bust with a substance different from the one they had expected to find also indicates that officer Goines knew he was operating on mere hunches but was perfectly fine with it. All that he thought he needed for a warrant was a suspicion that some sort of drug was present, rather than hard evidence. The fact that he often claimed to have used a confidential informant to make a drug purchase, only to have a different drug turn up in the raid, is a strong sign that those informants and their drug purchase never existed in the first place.
Drug Defense Lawyer Doug Murphy Defends Your Rights
If you have been accused of a drug crime in Houston, you need a strong legal defense. Challenging every aspect of the charges against you is more important now than ever. Call drug defense lawyer Doug Murphy at (713) 229-8333 or contact him online.