Police chief guilty in marijuana and heroin conspiracy

May 23, 2017

Keith Foster

A federal jury found former Fresno deputy police chief Keith Foster, 53, guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana earlier today, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

Between July 19, 2014, and March 26, 2015, Keith Foster conspired with his nephew Iran Dennis Foster, 46, of Fresno, to obtain marijuana from Ricky Reynolds, 50, of Shasta Lake.  Dennis Foster regularly traveled to Reynolds’ residence to purchase marijuana.

While returning from a visit with Reynolds, a CHP officer stopped Dennis Foster in Merced County and arrested for possession after the officer found six pounds of marijuana in the trunk of the car. During the arrest, Dennis Foster’s passenger called Chief Keith Foster who said he “could have provided cover” for Dennis Foster if he had known about the trip ahead of time. He then said he would call his “narc guys.”

In addition, between December 23, 2014, and February 2, 2015, Foster conspired with co-defendant Rafael Guzman, 43, of Fresno, to obtain heroin for another person.

Keith Foster resigned from his position on April 3, 2015, one week after his arrest.

“The actions of Keith Foster and his co-defendants in this case jeopardized public safety and violated the trust of the citizens of Fresno he swore to protect,” said Special Agent in Charge Jill A. Snyder, San Francisco Field Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “During this investigation, ATF and FBI agents followed evidence of a drug trafficking conspiracy. That evidence led directly to the former deputy police chief of Fresno. Foster’s criminal activity will not deter ATF’s ongoing partnership with the Fresno Police Department to fight violent crime in the City of Fresno.”

Six others pleaded guilty before trial to various offenses related to the drug trafficking conspiracy. Randy Flowers and Denny Foster are scheduled to be sentenced on July 10, 2017. Ricky Reynolds is scheduled to be sentenced on September 11, 2017. On October 11, 2016, Rafael Guzman, 43, of Fresno was sentenced to three years and four months in prison. Jennifer Donabedian, 37, of Fresno, pleaded guilty to concealing a felony and served 12 months’ probation. Sarah Ybarra, 39, of Fresno, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and served one year in prison.

Keith Foster is scheduled to be sentenced on October 10 by U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii. Foster faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the count relating to heroin, and a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the marijuana trafficking offense.


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fhill123

He was caught intentionally to prove they don’t pay these hard-working cops a reasonable salary!!


DocT

If you allow for all the competition that was jailed on his watch, it counter-balances the fact that the cops were dealing drugs.


I say give them promotions!


Cops need to break so many laws each and every day in order to enforce the laws on us and keep us safe. Why punish them for safely dealing drugs in the communities they serve?


If the police hadn’t been selling these drugs, someone else would. That someone else might use guns. The “other” dealers might break speed limits, text and drive, drink and drive, not pay taxes…..etc.


Cops are safer dealers than “real” drug dealers. I think they should get promotions.


When you really think about it, Foster is a hero. Yeah, that’s it. A real hero.


Jorge Estrada

They caught one termite.


DocT

Drug dealers are violent menaces to our community. Cops are there to protect and serve. If we allow cops to deal drugs, then there won’t be any problems! Yay!


His crimes should be overlooked. The stress of the job….countless hours spent worrying about the health and well-being of the community. Putting his life on the line, etc.


Most police departments have this sort of corruption. No big deal. Give them some armored urban assault vehicles, night vision goggles, drones, and more military gear so the cops can protect us better between drug deals.


Also, make sure they seize assets from anyone and everyone, according to federal Asset Seizure laws. This is what we need to be kept safe from drug dealers and other bad people.


RonHolt

I am betting that some of those who voted down for you didn’t get the sarcasm in your comments.


Paso_Guy

Ask OJ Simpson about pension protection.


abigchocoholic

And that’s how absurd your war on drugs is people.


A never ending battle of supply and demand, a high demand product where when you restrict supply the higher the price goes and the more it entices otherwise good people to get in the business.


RonHolt

I agree in general with your comments but I do question whether you could call someone who did this “otherwise good people.”


sand_runner

“RETIREMENT PLAN ASSETS MAY BE SUBJECT TO attachment by federal tax levies, judgments and fines imposed in federal criminal actions. Treasury regulations provide that plan benefits are subject to attachment by the IRS.”


It would be nice for an attorney that knows the ins and outs on this specific topic.

Is the dirty cop’s retirement attachable?


Sure hope so! At least this scumbag got bigger fines than Bacca’s $7,500.00.

What a f-ing joke!


Jon Tatro

That dirt bag should lose his retirement, what a piece of crap. I hope he gets what’s coming to him in prison.


mkaney

Even when it looks like justice is being served, it turns out it was a false alarm. Instead of being convicted of being a corrupt cop, a hypocrite, and obstructing justice,

“Foster faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the count relating to heroin, and a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the marijuana trafficking offense.”


kayaknut

And not to worry his pension will not be at risk. A “regular” person would also have be taken into custody immediately after being convicted but not a “special” person. He gets to leave court and is just being told to come back in October, if he even is still in the US. I heard he is supposed to be back in court in July to see if he will be retried on the other counts but that likely can be handled by his lawyer. We wouldn’t want to interrupt his summer with such a minor thing as a drug conviction. Again, special treatment for special people.


RonHolt

Yes indeed. Just like former LA County Sheriff Lee Baca and his cronies.