Four years ago, Frederick Jeffery was sentenced to 25 years in prison for possessing five grams of methamphetamine—a bit more than the weight of a single sugar packet. That draconian punishment, which was enhanced based on prior convictions, was appalling enough by itself. But now it turns out that Jeffery was convicted based on lies, as he has always insisted, Reason reports. Harris County, Texas, Judge Stacy M. Allen yesterday recommended that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reverse Jeffery's conviction, saying it resulted from "a pattern of deceit involving fictional drug buys, perjured search warrant affidavits, and false testimony to a jury." The Houston narcotics officer who framed Jeffery, Gerald Goines, is the same corrupt cop who used similar methods to instigate a January 2019 drug raid that killed Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas, a middle-aged couple whom Goines falsely accused of selling heroin from their home at 7815 Harding Street.
"Frederick Jeffery's case is a due process disaster," said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. "In the wake of Harding Street, it is clear that Gerald Goines and other members of the Houston Police Department Narcotics Division engaged in a years-long scheme involving fictional drug buys, perjured warrants and phony overtime. Individuals like Frederick Jeffery were collateral damage." Goines, who faces federal civil rights charges as well as state charges in connection with the operation that killed Tuttle and Nicholas, was employed by the Houston Police Department (HPD) for 34 years before he retired. Investigations of the HPD's Narcotics Division triggered by that fiasco revealed a pattern of lax supervision, sloppy practices, and fraud that extended far beyond Goines. As a result of those investigations, local prosecutors charged 11 other officers—including Steven Bryant, the cop who backed up Goines' account of a heroin purchase on Harding Street that never happened—with various crimes.