Former assistance chief of police Keith Foster has been implicated by Rafael Guzman, a heroin dealer who had dealings with Foster before his arrest last year. Guzman said that Foster asked him to acquire heroin for a 3rd party on Christmas eve in 2014.
Guzman agreed and said it would be available after the holiday. In the middle of January Foster and the defendant met to discuss the arraignment. According to the plea agreement, on February 2, 2015 when Foster called the buyer to initiate the dealer, he was turned down.
In exchange for a plea bargain Guzman will not be asked to testify against Foster or any other defendant and will be allowed to appeal his pending sentencing which ranges from 46 to 57 months.
From the Fresno Bee
Foster denies taking part in any drug dealing, says his attorney, and has pleaded not guilty to the allegations.
As part of his plea agreement, Guzman, 42, waived his right to a jury trial and right to appeal his pending sentence, which ranges from 46 to 57 months, said Fresno defense lawyer Sal Sciandra, who represents Guzman.
But Sciandra made it clear in court Monday that Guzman will not testify against Foster or any other defendant.
“He’s concerned,” Sciandra told Judge Anthony Ishii, without elaborating in public.
In accepting the guilty plea, Ishii said he is not bound by the agreement and that before he sentences him, he will consider Guzman’s criminal history and the amount of drugs he was accused of distributing.
It’s unclear how much heroin Guzman had planned to sell Foster, but the plea agreement says Guzman’s relevant conduct for sentencing purposes includes two ounces of heroin, one ounce of methampetamine and one ounce of cocaine.
Ishii allowed Guzman to remain free until his sentencing on Aug. 15 after federal prosecutors said he has “done well on pre-trial release.”
Why wouldn’t the prosecution want Guzman’s testimony? It’s not a very sound strategy to plead out the only person, up to this point, who has implicated Foster in the drug ring without asking for their testimony; unless of course they don’t want his testimony and are colluding to get Foster off of the hook. Guzman’s lawyer also said he was “concerned” about testifying. Does Guzman feels his testimony will lead to police retribution, or has he already been threatened?