The Slatest

Police: Houston Officer Lied to Get Search Warrant for Raid that Led to Two Deaths

A number of police vehicles with lights can be seen. A small group of officers are gathered for a conversation in the distance.
Police work at the scene of the shootout on Jan. 28, 2019 in Houston, Texas.
Loren Elliott/Getty Images

Houston’s police chief told reporters on Friday that an officer will likely face serious criminal charges for inventing information about an informant in a search warrant affidavit. That search warrant allowed officers to break down the door to a Houston home last month, and in the shootout that followed, four officers were shot and two occupants killed.

“When we prepare a document to go into somebody’s home—there is a sanctity of somebody’s home—it has to be truthful,” police Chief Art Acevedo said Friday.

According to Acevedo, Gerald Goines, a narcotics officer who has been with the police department for more than 30 years, said on the search warrant affidavit that he had seen a confidential informant go to the house and leave with what appeared to be heroin. Police now believe that story was false.

But police say they did actually have reason to investigate the house. Acevedo cited a 911 call from a woman who said her daughter was doing drugs in the house. Officers found small amounts of cocaine and marijuana in the house, along with a number of firearms.

In the January raid, the people inside the home began to shoot at the police, and police fired back, Acevedo said. Goines was one of the officers who was injured. The two people killed in the raid have been identified as Dennis Tuttle, 59, and Rhogena Nicholas, 58.

Goines and another officer mentioned in the affidavit have been placed on administrative leave. Acevedo told the press that the police were investigating the events that led to the raid.