Ex-Central Texas cop involved in deadly drug raid enters guilty plea

Former Killeen police officer Anthony Custance, who was accused of concealing or reloading a rifle magazine after a local man was shot to death during a no-knock drug raid pleaded guilty Friday to a tampering with evidence charge. (Jail photo)

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) Former Killeen police officer Anthony Custance, who was accused of concealing or reloading a rifle magazine after a local man was shot to death during a no-knock drug raid pleaded guilty Friday to a tampering with evidence charge.

Sentencing is set for Dec. 2, Bell County First Assistant District Attorney Paul McWilliams said.

James Scott Reed, 40, died early in the morning on Feb. 27 in an exchange of gunfire with police after Killeen officers executed a no-knock search and arrest warrant at around 6 a.m. at a duplex at 215 West Hallmark Ave.

SWAT officers were met by gunfire as they entered the residence, police said.

During the raid, Custance, who was indicted in June, fired into the rear of the residence and then later attempted to conceal or reload the rifle magazine in order to hide the fact he fired the rounds, investigators determined.

The shots didn’t hit anyone, but firing at the house was not in compliance with the planned operation, authorities said.

Custance resigned from the department after the raid.

“The Killeen Police Department has a very clear code of ethics, and this officer’s actions during and after the incident were unacceptable,” Chief Charles Kimble said in an earlier news release.

“Public trust is paramount to law enforcement, and unethical behavior within the department will not be tolerated.”

Killeen Municipal Judge Mark Kimball issued the warrant on Feb. 26 for the raid on the duplex on the basis of a police affidavit citing an unnamed informant who “observed James Scott Reed…with a usable quantity of cocaine.”