Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jul 1998
Author: Stefanie Asin


Lawyer says family offended at dealer suggestion

A suspected drug dealer shot and killed by Houston police had no drugs or
alcohol in his system at the time, toxicology reports said Thursday.

Pedro Navarro Oregon, 22, a landscaper, was shot 12 times by officers who
burst into his apartment without a warrant July 12. The officers said
another suspect had told them he had purchased drugs in Oregon's apartment.

Attorney Paul Nugent, representing Oregon's family, noted that no drugs
were found in his apartment and the toxicology reports.

"The family was very offended when Pedro was labeled a drug dealer," he said.

From the beginning, Nugent said, officers characterized Oregon as a
narcotics supplier. Although Nugent acknowledged that a negative toxicology
test doesn't prove someone isn't a drug dealer, he said the report proves
something about Oregon's character.

Oregon was the father of two children.

The toxicology report was negative for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamine,
metamphetamine, opiate and phencyclidine, a hallucinogen.

Five officers have been relieved of duty with pay while the investigation
continues. Sources have said the officers' mistaken belief that Oregon had
shot one of them prompted their firing more than 30 shots at him.

Oregon was shot nine times in the back.

The officers said Oregon pointed a gun at them. However, his gun was never

The case will be presented to a grand jury in August.

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Checked-by: (Joel W. Johnson)