An Algiers man who last month filed an official complaint saying New Orleans police stole his home’s surveillance equipment after busting him on a drug charge had actually known for two years that his brother removed the equipment, according to an arrest warrant application.
Casey Warren, 36, was arrested Thursday on a count of false swearing.
He is accused of including false information in a complaint about NOPD detective Raymond Veit — information that police say is directly contradicted by a taped phone conversation he had with his brother while in jail.
It was the latest twist in a Criminal District Court saga that has included accusations — from Warren and his defense team — of police misconduct and prosecutorial vindictiveness.
On the other hand, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office asserts that during Warren’s August trial on the drug charge, his brother, Sean Patrick Warren, tried to bribe a juror in exchange for an acquittal.
A jury on Aug. 15 did acquit Casey Warren of two charges: cocaine possession with intent to distribute and public intimidation.
But they split on whether he was guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Warren had been arrested on Sept. 22, 2011, in front of his house on Holiday Drive in Algiers. Officers on the West Bank Major Crimes Task Force had been staking him out and allegedly found 1.5 grams of cocaine behind the visor of his truck.
Warren’s legal team believes the key to his acquittal on two counts was aggressive questioning of Veit, who was tripped up by hard evidence that conflicted with the police version of how the arrest took place. Veit, who was formerly the NOPD’s sole representative on the multiple-agency task force, is an officer with a cloud over his head.
The DA’s office in January 2012 referred a perjury complaint about Veit to the FBI after security camera footage obtained by defense attorneys directly contradicted his sworn testimony in another drug case.
He was put on desk duty when that investigation began; more recently, he was suspended following his arrest this summer in Jefferson Parish for simple assault.
In particular, Warren’s legal team last month emphasized to WWL-TV that documents they collected showed that Veit lied in his official report about what time Warren was arrested on Sept. 22, 2011. Veit wrote that Warren was arrested at 1:45 p.m., but a toll tag history report for Warren’s truck showed it was moved at 12:46 p.m. — an hour before his arrest —- from his house to the Troop B office of the Louisiana State Police.
Dwayne Scheuermann, a private investigator and former NOPD officer, said this was important because the missing hours gave officers time to disable the security system at Warren’s home. He and Warren accused the officers of taking the DVR attached to the cameras.
According to court records, Warren also made that complaint with the NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau, which investigates allegations of wrongdoing by officers.
His complaint accused Veit and his colleagues on the task force of stealing the DVR when executing a search warrant at Warren’s house on Sept. 22 2011, the warrant for his arrest this week states.
But the Public Integrity Bureau investigator found that a recording of a jail phone call on the day Warren was arrested showed that his brother, Sean Patrick Warren, told him that he took the DVR earlier that day.
Frank DeSalvo, a defense attorney who represents Casey Warren, said the arrest warrant doesn’t accurately reflect his client’s written Public Integrity Bureau complaint, although he declined to share that document.
Instead of accusing Veit of stealing the DVR, Warren simply noted it was gone when he returned to his house, DeSalvo said.
“What they are trying to do is make a liar out of him to protect them from civil liability across the board,” DeSalvo said.
But Veit’s attorney, Donovan Livaccari, said his client feels vindicated by the arrest, saying the NOPD should push forward with cases where they have strong evidence that someone lied about an officer.
“They have jailhouse recordings to make their case for them. In those circumstances, they should pursue it,” he said.
Casey and Sean Patrick Warren earlier this week pleaded not guilty to charges filed against them by a state grand jury late last month. Casey Warren still faces a charge of possession of a firearm, while his brother faces charges of jury tampering and obstruction of justice.
Both are being held at Orleans Parish Prison.
There is still a pending criminal investigation into Veit, an NOPD spokeswoman said.