Prosecution wraps up in former Fresno Deputy Chief drug trial, Keith Foster takes the stand

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Foster said he has waited two years for this moment. He told jurors he had aspirations of becoming the next police chief and would not go undercover or deep undercover. (KFSN)

In his own words, former Fresno Deputy Police Chief Keith Foster says he was not working undercover in the conspiracy case that has him facing drug charges.

Instead, the second-in-command says he was collecting tips from citizens who wanted to be anonymous and passing on the information to detectives.

Foster said he has waited two years for this moment. He told jurors he had aspirations of becoming the next police chief and would not go undercover or deep undercover.

He began the day in good spirits, hugging his supporters and pastor before taking the stand in his own defense. It was at a major chief's conference in 2014 that Foster said a town hall meeting brought up the topic of a heroin resurgence.

Right then, Chief Jerry Dyer assigned him to find out if heroin was making a comeback in the Valley and whether officers needed training on using the drug Narcan.

Foster said his whole purpose in contacting alleged co-conspirator Rafael Guzman was for the project. Foster said even though patrol and narcotics officers said it wasn't a problem. However, Guzman, who is familiar with the streets, said it was.

During testimony Tuesday, the 29-year veteran officer said, "I wasn't posing as someone else at this point in my career."

Earlier in the day, Deputy Chief Pat Farmer took the stand. He said that although a deputy chief could accept citizen tips, it would be "cleaner" to pass them off to a detective.

Foster made several references to different types of tips. He talked about department credentialed confidential informants, citizen informants, and anonymous informants.

He said many of his tips were from the inner city, sometimes those with gang ties who did not want to testify only provide information.

Several tapes were played to the jury of Foster taking calls on his personal phone about the murder of nine-year-old Janessa Ramirez. Several callers provided tips that Foster claims were instrumental in solving the homicide.

Foster will continue testifying Wednesday. Dyer is also expected to be called to take the stand by the defense. Prosecutors have rested their case.
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