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Criminal Justice

6 More HPD Officers Indicted In Connection With 2019 Harding Street Raid

Twelve HPD officers in total have been indicted. Two are charged with first-degree murder.

Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media
On the anniversary of the botched drug raid that led to the deaths of Dennis and Rhogena Tuttle, a candle light vigil is held on the doorstep of their home. Taken on Jan. 28, 2020.

Six more HPD officers were indicted Monday in connection with the 2019 Harding Street raid that led to the deaths of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas.

Officer Felipe Gallegos was indicted for murder, a first-degree felony, and faces life in prison.

Officers Oscar Pardo, Cedell Lovings, Nadeem Ashraf, Clemente Reyna, and Thomas Wood are being charged with engaging in organized criminal activity and other first-degree felonies that could result in life sentences, after prosecutors say their roles were part of an ongoing attempt to steal overtime from the city.

“It’s long running,” District Attorney Kim Ogg said at a Monday press conference. “Our statute of limitations bars prosecution past a certain time limit, that’s what we’re limited to. Additionally, our resources limit us, but I think there’s plenty of work to be done here.”

The six officers join six others who were indicted last year for what prosecutors say was their part in the botched raid.

Former HPD officer Gerald Goines was previously charged with two counts of felony murder. Thomas Wood, Clemente Reyna, Frank Medina, Griff Maxwell, and Hodgie Armstrong were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, aggregate theft by a public servant, and tampering with a governmental record. Steven Bryant was charged with tampering with a governmental record.

On Jan. 28, 2019, prosecutors say Goines concocted a tale about a confidential informant purchasing heroin at 7815 Harding St. from an armed drug dealer. The resulting raid that killed Tuttle and Nicholas also injured several officers.

Only small amounts of marijuana and cocaine were found at the home.

Since then, thousands of cases from the beleagured narcotics squad have come under review.

In response to Monday’s indictments, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said that he was “disheartened” via a statement on Twitter.

“I have said many times that the other officers involved in the incident, including (Gallegos), had no involvement in obtaining the warrant and responded appropriately to the deadly threat posed to them during its service," Acevedo said.