WDSU - April 6, 2012
NEW ORLEANS, LA -- A former New Orleans police officer and former Jefferson Parish sheriff's deputy were charged on Friday in a one-count bill of information with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, U.S. attorney Jim Letten said. NOPD Officer Kevin Guillot, 43, and JPSO Deputy Daniel Spears, 40, were charged in the bill of information released on Friday. Letten said that Guillot resigned from the NOPD in April and Spears was employed at the Sheriff’s Office off-and-on from 2001 through 2011, and resigned in February 2012. Letten said that Anthony Venezia, 34, a resident of Westwego was also charged in the bill of information with one count of misprision of a felony. According to court documents, about June 2011, a truck owned by Guillot began malfunctioning, and Guillot and Spears concocted a scheme to defraud his insurance company. According to the bill of information, Guillot called 911 and said he was in Jefferson Parish on a boat with Venezia, and claimed the truck had been stolen from the boat launch. Spears wrote a police report on Guillot’s claim, Letten said. According to the bill of information, the truck was in Guillot’s driveway during the time. Letten said in the release issued on Friday that Venezia was interviewed and made false statements to support Guillot’s claim. “We continue to demonstrate our zero tolerance for corruption in government and law enforcement,” Letten said. “Together, we will never waver in our fierce protection of our citizens, and the trust and integrity of those who honor the badge every day.” New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said he will not tolerate criminal behavior by any member of the department. “We are very pleased with the reestablishment of the working relationship between the FBI and our own Public Integrity Bureau,” Serpas said. “The FBI, by sharing their vast resources, knowledge and expertise, greatly enhances the Public Integrity Bureau’s ability to conduct timely and thorough investigations. …Finally, I must reiterate the few individuals that have betrayed their oath are the exception to the brave and honest men and women of NOPD.” Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said Spears resigned, anticipating his termination in the matter. “My office will always remain vigilant in addressing the unethical and criminal conduct by our employees,” Normand said. ”Former deputy Spears resigned from the JPSO in anticipation of his termination. I thank the federal authorities for their thorough investigation of this matter.” Guillot and Spears face a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a $100 special assessment. Venezia faces up to 3 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a $100 special assessment.