Another of Keith Foster’s nephews has taken a plea deal in a federal drug trafficking case that cost Foster his job as deputy police chief with the Fresno Police Department two years ago.
Another defendant, Ricky Reynolds, plans to plead guilty to selling marijuana, leaving only Keith Foster to stand trial on May 9 in U.S. District Court in Fresno.
In a hearing Monday, Randy Flowers, 51, of Fresno, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of three or more firearms.
In exchange, prosecutors dismissed charges of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, possession of oxycodone and using a cell phone in the commission of a felony, in accordance with a plea agreement that Flowers and his lawyer, Yan E.Shrayberman, have signed.
Under the plea agreement, Flowers faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. But his sentence could be dramatically reduced if he cooperates with authorities, the agreement says. Flowers, however, does not have to testify against his uncle, Shrayberman said.
At the hearing, Fresno attorney Daniel Bacon, who represents Reynolds, informed Judge Anthony Ishii that Reynold also has signed a plea agreement. Under the agreement, Reynolds will be plead guilty on April 24 to selling six pounds of marijuana, Bacon said. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors are recommending that Reynolds be sentenced to two years of probation and six months of home detention, Bacon said.
Foster also addressed the judge, telling Ishii that on his own free will and volition he rejected a plea agreement. Under the agreement, Foster would have pleaded guilty to three conspiracies involving the sales of heroin, marijuana and oxycondone. In exchange for his guilty pleas, he would have faced 48 months in prison, said Fresno attorney E. Marshall Hodgkins, who represents Foster.
Randy Flowers faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. But his sentence could be reduced if he cooperates with authorities, the agreement says.
A federal indictment charges Foster, Flowers, Reynolds and four others with participating in three separate conspiracies to distribute different controlled substances – heroin, oxycodone and marijuana. The case has been pared down because Flowers, Foster’s other nephew, Denny Foster, Denny’ girlfriend, Jennifer Donabedian, Sarah Ybarra and Rafael Guzman Jr. have accepted plea deals.
The case against Foster, the former No. 2 man for Police Chief Jerry Dyer, and the co-defendants is the product of federal wiretaps and extensive undercover surveillance.
Last month, Hodgkins, stipulated to the “authenticity and admissibility” of the wiretaps because Hodgkins said portions of the recordings show Foster is innocent.
Foster, who was arrested in March 2015, is out of custody on his own recognizance.
The case against Keith Foster, the former No. 2 man for Police Chief Jerry Dyer, and the co-defendants is the product of federal wiretaps and extensive undercover surveillance.
Prosecutors Melanie L. Alsworth and Dawrence “Duce” W. Rice contend Foster and Guzman conspired to purchase heroin so Foster could sell it. Foster also is accused of conspiring with Denny Foster to purchase marijuana from Reynolds.
In addition, Foster is accused of selling hundreds of oxycodone pills to Flowers over four month-period beginning in December 2014.
Court records give this account of Foster’s arrest:On March 26, 2015, Foster went to Flowers’ home in Fresno with 100 oxycodone pills that he had picked up from pharmacy the day before. As Foster drove away from the residence, a traffic stop was conducted. After Foster was arrested, federal agents searched his car and found $1,300 in cash and a prescription bottle with his name on it that contained two oxycodone pills.
At Foster’s home, agents found an additional $9,000 in cash and empty oxycodone prescription bottles in a safe. Foster resigned on April 3, 2015, one week after his arrest.
Flowers also was arrested and his home was searched. Agents found 98 oxycodone pills, about $10,500 in cash, and four firearms, including a .357-caliber revolver, a .45-caliber pistol and a rifle.
Flowers’ plea agreement says he has two felony convictions in Fresno County Superior Court: possession of cocaine in 1989 and being a felon in possession of a firearm in 1994. The agreement says Flowers has admitted to federal agents that the guns in his house belonged to him and that he knew he was not permitted to possess them.
At Monday’s hearing, Foster also agreed to several stipulated facts for his trial:
▪ The court authorized wiretaps on his cell phones and on cell phones belonging to Denny Foster and Randy Flowers.
▪ The audio recordings of the wiretaps and text messages recovered from the three defendants’ cell phones can be played or shown to the jury.
▪ During the wiretaps, Keith Foster drove a black BMW 7 series and Guzman drove a BMW X5.
▪ Two doctors signed prescriptions so Foster could obtain 100 oxycodone pills on each of the following dates: Dec. 23, 2014; Jan. 27, 2015; Feb. 25, 2015; and March 25, 2015.
▪ Federal agents obtained blood and urine samples from Keith Foster to check for oxycodone. (Tests reveal that oxycodone was not detected in the samples, according to a May 2015 FBI lab report.)