Tipster claims officer robbed him, leading to raid that turned up 100 guns and crack cocaine
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Court documents show federal agents seized 100 guns and over an ounce of crack cocaine during a raid at the home of veteran New Orleans police officer Reginald Koeller following his arrest.
Koeller is out of jail after posting a $15,000 bond on drug and weapons charges, but the investigation is far from over.
During the raid, federal and state agents found a pill bottle containing numerous pieces of crack cocaine, along with 100 guns of various makes and models, the court documents explain. The guns were stored in several locked safes.
The joint task force investigation began after the Public Integrity Bureau (PIB) received a tip from a man who says Koeller stole his gun and money.
According to those court documents, the man said that he wrecked his vehicle near I-10 and Crowder Boulevard after being chased by Koeller in his marked police unit. The driver told the PIB he discarded a Glock 17 pistol and when Koeller retrieved it, he said he would keep it “for his collection.” The driver also claims Koeller took $7,500 in cash from him.
Koeller failed to turn in the handgun or document the incident, according to court documents.
More: NOPD officer arrested, accused of dealing crack cocaine
Koeller, an 18-year veteran of the force, was arrested on Wed., April 20, and booked on charges of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and illegally carrying a firearm.
His attorney says Koeller “vehemently denies the allegations and looks forward to exonerating himself.”
A former federal prosecutor, Matt Coman, says federal charges may follow.
“Technically, the state of Louisiana or the Orleans District Attorneys Office has the ability to prosecute this case on their own, but typically the federal government will step in and prosecute that via a grand jury indictment, so I would not be surprised if it lands in this courthouse in the next couple of weeks,” Cowan says.
Koeller was placed on emergency suspension pending the outcome of the federal investigation.
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