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Fresno's deputy police chief resigns amid drug dealing charges

Fresno deputy police chief resigns after he was charged in federal drug case

Fresno's deputy police chief, who is facing charges that he conspired to distribute drugs, resigned Friday.

Keith Foster's resignation was effective immediately, according to a statement from his attorney, Edward Marshall Hodgkins. Foster was placed on paid administrative leave after his arrest last week.

“After much reflection, and on the advice of counsel, he has determined that his effectiveness in the department would be severely limited even if he is ultimately exonerated of the federal charges currently pending against him,” his attorney said.

Foster, 51, who had been with the department for nearly 29 years, had been deputy chief since 2007.

He was arrested March 26 on charges that he conspired to distribute heroin, oxycodone and marijuana, according to a criminal complaint. The charges came
after a year-long investigation.

Authorities say several people were involved in what a federal investigator labeled the “Foster drug-trafficking organization,” including two people believed to be related to the deputy chief: Iran Dennis Foster and Randy Flowers.

Investigators with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives followed Keith Foster in December 2014 as he drove his black BMW to a Rite Aid pharmacy drive-through and picked up a prescription for 100 oxycodone pills, according to a sworn affidavit filed in U.S. District Court.

A month later, they followed him to the pharmacy again, where he picked up an identical order, authorities said.

This time, Foster drove to Flowers' home, where they believe he dropped off the pills, according to the affidavit. Flowers, 48, also was arrested and charged, authorities said.

On Dec. 24, investigators were listening to Foster's phone calls and heard him ask convicted drug dealer Rafael Guzman “if he knew someone who was trying to get some of ‘the black,'” or black tar heroin, according to the affidavit.

He asked what “the ticket” was, referring to the price, authorities said.

Guzman, 41, replied, “It depends, how good of clothes they want … at my cost now they'll say about a rack for the best. We're talking about some China white though, you know what I mean?” according to the affidavit.

Investigators say Guzman was indicating it would probably cost $1,000 per ounce for the best quality of white powder heroin.

Guzman was arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin.

Iran Foster and Jennifer Donebedian, 35, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to distribute drugs, authorities said.

 

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