Goines Indicted on Federal Civil Rights Charge
HOUSTON - Three people, including two former officers, are now in custody in relation to the fatal events that occurred in January 2019 on Harding Street in Houston, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick along with Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI.
A federal grand jury returned the nine-count indictment Nov. 14 against Gerald M. Goines, 55, and Steven M. Bryant, 46, both former Houston Police Department (HPD) officers. Also charged is Patricia Ann Garcia, 53. All are residents of Houston. The indictment was unsealed this morning as authorities took all three into custody. They are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena H. Palermo at 2 .m. today.
The federal indictment stems from the Jan. 28 narcotics raid HPD conducted on the 7800 block of Harding Street in Houston. The enforcement action resulted in the deaths of two residents at that location.
Goines is charged with two counts of depriving the victims’ constitutional right to be secure against unreasonable searches. The indictment alleges Goines made numerous materially false statements in the state search warrant he obtained for their residence. The execution of that warrant containing these false statements resulted in the death of the two individuals as well as injuries to four other persons, according to the indictment.
Goines and Bryant are charged with obstructing justice by falsifying records. Goines allegedly made several false statements in his tactical plan and offense report prepared in connection with that search warrant. The indictment alleges Bryant falsely claimed in a supplemental case report he had previously assisted Goines in the Harding Street investigation. Bryant allegedly identified a brown powdery substance (heroin) he retrieved from Goines’ vehicle as narcotics purchased from the Harding Street residence Jan. 27.
Goines is further charged with three separate counts of obstructing an official proceeding. The federal grand jury alleged Goines falsely stated Jan. 30 that someone had purchased narcotics at the Harding Street location three days prior. He also falsely stated Jan. 31 that another individual purchased narcotics at that residence that day, according to the charges. On Feb. 13, he also falsely claimed he had purchased narcotics at that residence on that day. The indictment alleges none of these statements were true.
The charges against Garcia allege she conveyed false information by making several fake 911 calls. Specifically, on Jan. 8, she allegedly made several calls claiming her daughter was inside the Harding Street location. According to the indictment, Garcia added that the residents of the home were addicts and drug dealers and that they had guns – including machine guns – inside the home, according to the indictment. The charges allege none of Garcia’s claims were true.
If convicted of the civil rights charges, Goines faces up to life in prison. Each obstruction count carries a potential 20-year sentence, while Garcia faces a five-year term of imprisonment for conveying false information.
The FBI is conducting the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alamdar S. Hamdani, Arthur R. Jones and Sharad S. Khandelwal are prosecuting the case along with Special Litigation Counsel Jared Fishman of the department’s Civil Rights Division.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.