Friday, March 26, 2021

Update on the Illicit No-Knock Houston Raid of Innocent Couple on Harding Street

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg held a press conference on 25 January, 2021, to release details about new indictments from a grand jury in the ongoing investigation of the illicit no-knock raid which occurred on 28 January, 2019, in Houston, Texas, on Harding Street. A gunfight occurred when the plain clothes officers burst in and shot the couples dog.

 Link to press conference by Harris County DA Kim Ogg, 25 January, 2021.

Dennis Tuttle and his wife, Rhogena Nicholas were killed in the raid.

The coverup of what happened to lead to the raid, and what happened in the raid fell apart partly because the lead instigator of the raid, officer Gerald Goines, was wounded in the neck and unable to talk.

The presentation by DA Ogg starts at about 05:09 into the video. Questions asked of DA Ogg are difficult to hear in the video.

The grand jury, on 25 January, indicted a 2nd officer for murder, and five more officers for organized criminal activity. 

The investigation was led by the Harris County Prosecutor office.

The raid was executed by the squad 15 of the Houston Police Department Narcotics Division.

The six officers, all members of squad 15, have been charged with felonies for conduct which was discovered as part of the investigation into the raid. 

The investigation found the officers in the squad were involved in a long term scheme to steal overtime money.

Filipe Gallegos was charged with murder in the death of Dennis Tuttle. DA Ogg said the grand jury heard evidence they believed, where Gallegoes committed an intentional homicide against Dennis Tuttle.

Nadine Ashraf, Cedell Loving, and Oscar Pardo have been charged with organized criminal activity (aggregate theft by a public servant) and first-degree tampering with a governmental record

Frank Medina and Griff Maxwell have been charged with organized criminal activity (aggregate theft by a public servant) and second-degree tampering with a governmental record.

Officers, who were among the five previously charged, had additional charges added. They were: 

Sgt. Clemente Reyna and Sgt. Thomas Wood to whom charges of of engaging in organized criminal activity and first-degree tampering with a governmental record were added to the previous charges of tampering with a governmental record and third-degree theft by a public servant.

Officer Hodgie Armstrong had charges of engaging in organized criminal activity and second-degree tampering with a government record to previous charges of tampering with a governmental record.

All of the officers charged, except for Officer Hodgie Armstrong, were members of squad 15 of the HPD Narcotics Division.

Officer Hodgie Armstrong was not a member of squad 15,  but was former officer Goines old partner. 

The indictments according to DA Ogg, are the result of a:  

"..Two year investigation, nearly to the day, of what we consider a game changer, in terms in how narcotics policing and prosecution will be handled in the future, not just here, but elsewhere." 

These charges conclude the investigations with regard to the shootings on Harding Street. 

DA Ogg said: "Our work continues with regard to the corruption." 

DA Ogg mentioned that warrants of phones lead to other phones, which lead to more warrants and possibly more charges. The "organized crime" charges have to do with the overtime. She said:

"It was a result of a raid that was part of their usual routine."

Consider the implications.

The implication seems to be squad 15 routinely organized no-knock raids in order to inflate their overtime numbers, and as a result, two innocent people were killed.

 The details of the charges will come out in court. Details of the grand jury investigation may not be made available to the public.

DA Ogg said the investigation of the evidence collected from the phones, witness testimony, and official records, will continue until each person who has been impacted by the officers has a chance to complain, and the DA's office has a chance to investigate what happened.

There may be additional grand juries convened to hear more evidence in the future.

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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1 comment:

ScienceABC123 said...

"No knock" raids are intended to be violent, IMO they are blatantly un-Constitutional.