A former deputy police chief in California has been accused of federal drug trafficking charges, despite his contentions that his drug dealings were part of an “undercover” operation.
Fresno Police Department’s former second-in-command Keith Foster contended at his recent trial that he was working as an undercover investigator when he was recorded on a wiretap talking about buying narcotics, according to The Fresno Bee.
Police Chief Jerry Dyer had reportedly directed Foster to find out whether heroin was causing problems in the city, but apparently was not aware that Foster was planning to make drug busts.
Foster’s defense attorney has maintained that his client was just a deputy chief doing what a good cop should do — working sources and helping the narcotics team, according to KFSN.
To satisfy Dyer’s order, Foster said he went undercover by talking with co-defendant Rafael Guzman, a known drug dealer who Foster had befriended in order to turn him into a confidential informant, his attorney told jurors.
Prosecutors contended that the wiretaps captured a conversation between Foster and Guzman about buying heroin and selling oxycodone to Foster’s nephew, Randy Flowers.
Foster’s defense attorney claimed that his client was not selling oxycodone to Flowers, and that both men had prescriptions for the narcotic — a situation Dyer reportedly knew about. However, a May 2015 FBI lab report found that Foster’s blood and urine did not reveal oxycodone in the samples.
Details of Foster’s arrest on March 26, 2015, also did not look good for the former cop, as he allegedly had taken 100 oxycodone pills to Flowers’ home and left with $1,300 in cash, along with a prescription bottle with his name on it that contained only two pills. At his home, agents found $9,000 in cash and empty oxycodone prescription bottles in a safe.
Flowers was also arrested, and a search of his home turned up 98 oxycodone pills, about $10,200 in cash, and guns. The pills found in Flowers’ home reportedly matched the pills found in Foster’s car.
If convicted, Fosters could be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison and stiff fines.
While the evidence doesn’t sway in favor of this former cop, the fact that he has nearly 30 years of what his colleagues have called “stellar service” should be reason enough to at least consider his side of the story.
Legal Analyst Charles Magill told KSEE that both the federal government and Keith Foster’s attorney will have quite the fight ahead of them.
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