Former California deputy chief convicted on drug trafficking charges
By Jennifer Cruz
Former Fresno Deputy Police Chief Keith Foster outside of a California court during his trial. (Photo: The Fresno Bee)
A former Fresno deputy police chief was found guilty by a federal jury Tuesday of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and marijuana.
Keith Foster, 53, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the heroin charges and up to five years and a $250,000 fine for the marijuana charge. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 10.
During the trial, Foster was offered a plea deal that would have landed him four years in prison, but he turned it down.
“It’s unfortunate, but that’s our system,” Foster’s lawyer, E. Marshall Hodgkins, said of the verdict. “We tried the case we wanted.”
Marshall said he hoped his client’s “lifelong work in public service will have some impact on the sentencing.”
Foster, who resigned as deputy chief April 3, 2015, a week after his arrest, was charged with a total of eight counts, but the jury was hung on the remaining six counts.
Evidence presented at trial showed that throughout 2014 and 2015 Foster conspired with Rafael Guzman, 43, to obtain heroin for a third party. Foster also conspired with