BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Former Baton Rouge Police officer Benjamin Zeringue is accused of confiscating guns from a traffic stop. Instead of turning them over to the evidence locker, he allegedly kept them for years, before dumping them in a pile of trash outside his home.
“No one is above the law here. We have to be held accountable. Everybody needs to be held accountable, even law enforcement,” said Chief Roger Corcoran of the Central Police Department (CPD).
In April, a group of children found the guns in a pile of trash on Roble Avenue in Central.
“It’s concerning what could have happened, especially when we talk about some of the shootings that have happened at schools and guns at school. We’re fortune that, that didn’t happen in this case. We are fortunate that it was good kids,” said Chief Murphy Paul of the Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD).
Items in the box that the guns were found in belonged to BRPD. Records show the guns were turned in as evidence, but that was not the case.
BRPD says this is not the first time Zeringue has been accused of doing something like this.
“There was some accountability, this is not the first issue involving evidence not being dropped,” said Deputy Chief Myron Daniels of BRPD. “He was actually disciplined for it and within days of him completing his discipline, he resigned from the police department after being noted that there would be additional oversight into his behavior.”
Zeringue was with BRPD uniform patrol for over three years. He’s also worked with two other sheriff’s offices, including Livingston Parish.
It’s not clear how long the guns were sitting in trash.
“They did have full magazines with them, 30 round magazines with them. We were just lucky the children didn’t put them in the weapon,” said Corcoran.
Central’s Police Chief confirms that Zeringue was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for three counts malfeasance in office, injuring public records and three counts of theft of firearms.