Crime Texas Woman Gets Prison Time for False 911 Calls That Led to Botched Drug Raid and Deaths of Neighboring Couple
He Robbed a Taco Joint With a Toy Water Gun for $264. He Got Life in Prison.
On a Sunday night in February 1981, Rolf Kaestel robbed an Arkansas taco restaurant using a toy water gun. No one was injured in the stickup. He stole $264—and was sentenced to life in prison. Forty years later, Kaestel is still behind bars for aggravated robbery. His penalty is unusually severe, supporters say, for a crime without injuries or even a physical altercation. This year could be the 70-year-old inmate’s final shot at redemption, a taste of freedom for however many good years he has left. Kaestel’s fate now rests in the hands of Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who denied him clemency in 2015 and is expected to decide on his latest application any day now.
A Texas woman whose false 911 calls led to a botched 2019 drug raid that resulted in the death of both homeowners and their dog was sentenced on Tuesday to three years and four months in federal prison, local. The botched raid—which also left five officers injured, one of whom is now a paraplegic—also caused the Houston Police Department to responsible for the raid, exposing extensive corruption within its ranks that ended with 12 current and former officers being indicted.
Patricia Ann Garcia, 53, pleaded guilty in March to placing several erroneous 911 calls on Jan. 8, 2019, in which she falsely accusing her neighbors Dennis Tuttle, 59, and his wife, Rhogena Nicholas, 58, of being involved in serious criminal activity. Garcia, who reportedly had a long-running feud with the couple, told emergency operators that Tuttle and Nicholas were armed drug dealers who were holding her 25-year-old daughter in their home against her will.
Ex-Cop Pleads Guilty to Lying About Botched, Fatal Raid That Resulted in Houston Police Killing 2 People
A retired police officer pleaded guilty on Tuesday for lying amid a tragic, botched drug raid. Steven O. Bryant admitted he lied to help cover up for co-defendant Gerald Goines, according to the plea agreement. They are the officers implicated in the tragic, botched police raid that resulted in the deaths of Dennis Tuttle, 59, Rhogena Nicholas, 58, and their pit bull, as well as causing injuries of fellow officers. The post Ex-Cop Pleads GuiltyA retired police officer pleaded guilty on Tuesday for lying about a tragic, botched drug raid that left two dead in Houston, Texas back in 2019.
Just under three weeks after Garcia made the calls, narcotics officers with Houston PD executed a “no-knock warrant” on the home, breaking down the door and fatally shooting the couple.
During her videoconference sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks on Tuesday, Garcia expressed sorrow for her actions, claiming she was not in her right mind when she made the false 911 calls and never expected police to storm the couple’s home.
“I’m so sorry for my 911 call,” she said, adding, “And the false calls I made,” according to a Houston Chronicle.
But Judge Hanks appeared unsympathetic, saying he believed she “used 911 as a weapon.” The judge said Garcia did, indeed, want something bad to happen to the victims.
California drug ring linked to Ohio officer's killing and Mexico's infamous Sinaloa Cartel
DEA agents in Washington, D.C., have connected the fatal shooting of an Ohio detective to an L.A.-based drug network supplied by the Sinaloa Cartel.Jorge Del Rio, a 55-year-old Mexican native and Indiana University graduate who dedicated three decades of his life to the Dayton Police Department, collapsed in front of his fellow drug officers.
“There’s no question in my mind, Ms. Garcia, in that you wanted something bad to happen to (Tuttle and Nicholas),” Hanks said, per the Chronicle. “You didn’t really care what happened, and respectfully, the court can’t condone that.”
The 40-month sentence Hanks handed down was an upward departure from the sentencing guidelines. Garcia’s counsel had requested she receive 10 to 16 months in prison—what the federal guidelines called for—in addition to a period of home confinement.
Commenting on the sentence, veteran criminal defense attorney Kent Schafferlocal ABC-affiliate KTRK that the case presented unique circumstances the likes of which are extremely uncommon.
“It’s what we call a series of unfortunate events,” Schaffer said. “In the 40 years I’ve been doing this, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a case where the judge sentenced someone to more than twice the guidelines.”
Overnight Health Care: FDA approves first Alzheimer's treatment since 2003 in controversial decision | Biogen's CEO defends the $56,000 price tag | Biden hits crunch time on vaccinations
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Garcia is the first person involved in the scandal to be sentenced, but she will not be the last. Former officer Steven O. Bryantto lying to help cover up the circumstances of the botched raid at the behest of former narcotics agent Gerald Goines. Goines, who was charged with leading the drug raid, initially claimed that he witnessed an informant purchase heroin from the couple’s home in order to obtain the no-knock warrant. Goines , however, that there was no informant and that he had purchased the drugs himself from a different location.
Retired Houston Police Officer Gerald Goines bond was set at $150,000 on each count of felony murder for the botched Harding Street Raid. His partner, Steven Bryant, was arrested for tampering with government documents. Bryant’s bond was set at $50,000.
— Mycah Hatfield (@MycahABC13)
Woman sentenced for false 911 calls sparking fatal drug raid
HOUSTON (AP) — A woman was sentenced on Tuesday to three years and four months in federal prison for making false 911 calls that ultimately resulted in a 2019 drug raid by Houston police that killed both homeowners. Patricia Garcia was the first person to be sentenced in connection with the deadly raid in which Dennis Tuttle, 59, and his wife, Rhogena Nicholas, 58, were fatally shot on Jan. 28, 2019. A dozen current and former officers tied to the narcotics unit that conducted the drug raid have been indicted in state and federal court in the wake of the shooting. Two current and former officers, Gerald Goines and Felipe Gallegos, are facing murder charges in state court.
Bryant lied on a supplemental police report, claiming to have confirmed Goines did get heroin in the investigation, according to the affidavit. In this narrative, the two officers had an understanding that Goines was going to probably identify Bryant as a witness to a non-existent buy from a confidential informant.
Bryant is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 24 for destruction, alteration or falsification of records in federal investigations.
. Police have said they did not find heroin at the home, only marijuana and “white powdery substance” that was either cocaine or fentanyl. The victims’ families , calling into question the official narrative that a shootout began after Nicholas
[image via Houston PD]
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Wife of drug kingpin 'El Chapo' pleads guilty to US charges .
WASHINGTON (AP) — The wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman pleaded guilty Thursday to charges in the U.S. and admitted that she helped her husband run his multibillion-dollar criminal empire. Emma Coronel Aispuro, wearing a green jail uniform, appeared in federal court in Washington and pleaded guilty to three federal offenses as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors. The charges include knowingly and willfully conspiring to distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine for several years. She also pleaded guilty to a money-laundering conspiracy charge and to engaging in transactions with a foreign narcotics trafficker.