Man released from prison after being wrongfully convicted of drug charge based on officer testimony

Brooke Taylor Image
Sunday, July 24, 2022
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Frederick Jeffrey was sentenced to 25 years in prison based on a testimony of a former HPD officer that was involved in the infamous Harding Street botched raid in 2020.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A free man, Frederick Jeffrey was standing outside his mother's apartment, with no prison garb, much different than the past 24 hours when he was behind bars serving a 25-year sentence.

"It's a blessing from God," Jeffrey said. "I am glad I can be home with my mom."

Jeffrey served nearly six years of a 25-year sentence for possessing a controlled substance.

Back in 2018, he was convicted solely based on the testimony of former Houston police officer Gerald Goines. The disgraced officer faces murder and organized crime charges in a years-long scheme involving fake drug buys.

"I knew he was crooked," Jeffrey said. "You can't be an officer of the law and be crooked. You have to be an officer of the law for the people."

Jeffery has been trying to make his case for years, even writing letters to the District Clerk and the judge.

"(I) was pleading for my freedom and telling them I was innocent and falsely accused," Jeffrey said.

On Thursday, he received news that he had been desperately waiting for when a judge gave him a PR bond, apologizing to him for the wrongful conviction. It came after the District Attorney's office asked for his sentence to be reversed.

"When they called my prison number, I knew I was going home," Jeffrey said.

As each day and each year passed, Jeffrey said he leaned on his faith and his family, especially his mother.

"She said, 'Be patient. Keep your faith. Don't give up,'" Jeffrey said. "If I didn't have my mom I don't know what I would have done."

Jeffrey has an extensive criminal history and has admitted to battling a drug addiction, which is why he said he was an easy target.

"I struggled and been in and out of jail for possession, selling drugs," Jeffrey said. "They took me to jail for my background."

He has two kids and is now making up for the lost time.

"It took away a lot," Jeffrey said. "I lost many of my loved ones. My older daughter graduated from high school. She had a child."

Jeffery, wanting his story to inspire others, said he is ensuring he stays on the right path, so he doesn't end up behind bars again.

"If it (isn't) family, I don't need to be in (the) streets," Jeffrey said. "If you got a background a person can lie and say you did something. There are many brothers in there who are innocent and fighting for their freedom."

The fight isn't over yet, as the Court of Criminal Appeals has to give its final approval for the case to be overturned.

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