Written by The Business Journal Staff
Keith Foster, Fresno’s former deputy police chief, has been sentenced to four years in prison for a drug trafficking operation that involved his family and friends.
U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii sentenced Foster in federal court Monday, nearly three years after his March 2015 arrest. In May, a federal jury found Foster — once one of Chief Jerry Dyer’s friends and top deputies —guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and marijuana.
“Earlier this year, a jury found Keith Foster guilty of violating the very laws he was sworn to enforce. By conspiring with others to distribute illegal drugs, Foster breached the trust that the community placed in him as deputy chief of the Fresno Police Department and invited the danger and violence associated with such activity into our neighborhoods,” said U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.
According to evidence presented in the trial, between July 2014 and March 2015, Foster conspired with his nephew Iran Dennis “Denny” Foster to buy marijuana from Ricky Reynolds of Shasta Lake. Denny Foster was stopped by the California Highway Patrol with six pounds of marijuana in the trunk of his car on a trip to buy drugs from Reynolds.
When he was arrested, his passenger called Keith Foster and Foster said that he “could have provided cover” for Denny Foster if he had known about the trip ahead of time. He also said he would call his “narc guys,” according to court records.
Also according to evidence presented at trial, between December 2014, and February 2015, Foster conspired with co-defendant Rafael Guzman of Fresno to obtain heroin for another person.
“Like other law enforcement officers we have convicted for similar crimes in this district, Foster abused his position of trust for his own financial gain,” U.S. Attorney Talbert continued. “Given that the abuse of methamphetamine, opioids, and other drugs causes such immense harm to our community, we will zealously prosecute those in such positions who put profit over duty. I am grateful for the hard work of the ATF and the FBI, together with the full cooperation of Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, in bringing Foster to justice. My office is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute public corruption to the fullest extent of the law.”
Six others pleaded guilty before trial to various offenses related to drug trafficking. Randy Flowers was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison, while Denny Foster was sentenced to a year and a half.
Guzman was sentenced to three years and four months, while two others served a year in prison or probation.
Reynolds is scheduled to be sentenced later Monday afternoon.