Drug conspiracy trial begins against former Fresno deputy police chief

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The defense may have revealed a piece of strategy revealed as former Fresno police deputy chief Keith Foster goes on the defense in the drug conspiracy trial against him. (KFSN)

The defense may have revealed a piece of strategy revealed as former Fresno police deputy chief Keith Foster goes on the defense in the drug conspiracy trial against him.

The defense will be a mystery until opening statements Wednesday, but Foster's attorney said Tuesday he'll call police chief Jerry Dyer as a witness.

The box rolling behind Keith Foster is filled with evidence.

Some of it will be surprises from the defense; some of it is well documented by the prosecution.

FBI investigators say Foster was the center of a conspiracy to deal heroin, marijuana, and oxycodone.

Prosecutors charged five other defendants, including a couple of Foster's nephews, claiming they're spokes in a wheel controlled by Foster. All five reached plea deals before trial.

"All that says is they're going to testify to save their own skin," said legal analyst Tony Capozzi.

Some of the defendants gave statements pointing fingers at Foster, but only one of them is listed as a witness for the trial. Prosecutors say Iran Denny Foster's conversations with the then-deputy chief prove they were arranging pot sales. They say other phone calls recorded by the government caught Foster talking about heroin and oxycodone.

"There's a lot of wiretapping going on, there's a lot of comments that look pretty bad, but if anyone can pull a rabbit out of a hat, it'd be this defense attorney," Capozzi said. "He's done very well on the defense of police officers."

Marshall Hodgkins hasn't said how he'll defend Foster, but he told potential jurors Tuesday he does have a lot to say and he wants a fair shot in the trial. And he told the judge he intends to call police chief Jerry Dyer as one of his witnesses.

Capozzi says that may reveal one of Hodgkins' strategies.

"I think it's important to have the chief come in," Capozzi said. "If this was really going on, if what the government says is true, why wasn't it known throughout the department?"

Opening statements are scheduled for Wednesday morning and the trial is expected to last three weeks.

Foster faces as long as 20 years in prison if he's convicted, but he has rejected a plea deal that would've sent him to prison for four years.
Related Topics:
newskeith fosterfresno police departmentillegal drugsFresno
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