Remember Dennis Tuttle & Rhogena Nicholas?
If you're a news junkie from Southeast Texas, you likely will never forget the story of a middle-aged married couple from the Pecan Park area of Houston who were killed during a botched drug no-knock raid that happened as the result of faulty information.
The two individuals were likely never selling drugs. When they were killed in their home they possessed no scales, baggies, excessive drug paraphernalia or, most importantly, the black tar heroin they were accused of selling. As it turns out, the so-called confidential informant from that case did not purchase drugs from Tuttle, 59, and his wife, Nicholas, 58. This revelation in the story contradicts earlier information that was used by narcotics officers to acquire the no-knock search warrant. A confidential informant claimed to have purchased heroin at the house the day before the drug raid on Jan. 28.
Now a federal grand jury will be investigating the botched raid that left two seemingly innocent homeowners dead and five Houston police officers injured.
Two officers appeared before the grand jury yesterday.
Police Chief Art Acevedo claims he had no previous knowledge of the officers being called before a grand jury.
Federal officials would not discuss the case, but Ken Magidson, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, said the grand jury proceedings indicate the gravity of the case.
“It’s a serious matter, because it wouldn’t be brought before a grand jury unless people felt there was sufficient information to believe an indictment is a possibility,” Magidson said.
The two officers called before the grand jury had responded to a call about the house weeks prior to the raid, Griffith said. The now-retired narcotics officers linked most closely to the operation — former case agent Gerald Goines and his partner, Steven Bryant — did not appear before the grand jury Wednesday, he said.