Search warrant obtained in deadly drug bust shooting

HOUSTON (FOX 26) — Undercover officers were searching for drugs and were met with gunfire. A search warrant obtained by FOX 26 News provides details on what police were seeking on Monday afternoon that ultimately led to four officers being shot and two suspects killed.

Over the last few days, FOX 26 has spoken to neighbors and family friends of the suspects who say they just don’t believe the couple they knew would be involved anything like that, but the search warrant documents obtained on Wednesday suggest orherwise.

Houston police requested a search and arrest warrant on Monday for what they believed to be a drug house on Harding Street in southeast Houston, according to the affidavit. In the documents, police said that they suspected that a white male, whose name was unknown, was selling and storing heroin at the home.

The investigation had apparently been going on for two weeks by the Houston Police Department narcotics division. As recently as Sunday, the day before the raid, a confidential informant who was working with undercover officers apparently bought a "quantity of brown powder substance" from the suspected drug house. The documents said that substance was "recognized by sight and texture as heroin" or also known as its street name of "boy."

But after the raid, Houston police said no heroin was found.

"We didn't find any yesterday...we didn't find any yesterday," said HPD Chief Art Acevedo.

Instead, investigators discovered marijuana and a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine or fentanyl. Exactly how much? That's unknown at this time too.

The search warrant also granted police the authority to enter the home without first knocking and announcing their presence and purpose because investigators had probable cause to believe that doing so would be dangerous or otherwise inhibit or hinder the investigation.

"I feel like it's shoddy police work, I do," said Tabitha Herman, a family friend of the suspects who were killed, later identified as Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas.

Herman said she has a hard time believing the couple she knew for more than a decade would be involved in anything of this scale.

"But the looking for black tar heroin or cocaine or fentanyl on a drug dealers level, is incredibly ridiculous," added Herman. "I know that Regi and Dennis smoked pot for medical purposes to help with the pain. The rest of that stuff? Psshhh, never in a million years."