A New Jersey police officer was arrested Sunday for allegedly running a meth lab out of his home, prosecutors stated Sunday.
Christopher Walls, 50, was a 19-year veteran of the Long Branch Police Department. Walls was suspended without pay after authorities arrested and charged him Sunday, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.
“Thanks to the swift action of our office, the Long Branch Police Department, and the New Jersey State Police, a very serious risk to public safety has been averted,” Gramiccioni said. “The collaborative efforts of our agencies dismantled a very dangerous situation. It is particularly distressing that this hazard was caused by a sworn law enforcement officer.”
A 19-year veteran police officer of the Long Branch Police Department has been suspended without pay after he was arrested and charged today with various offenses related to manufacturing and maintaining a methamphetamine laboratory at his home. https://t.co/uN2IeKAZSD pic.twitter.com/m9LfCvKyAI
— Monmouth County Prosecutor (@MonCoProsecutor) May 16, 2021
Acting Long Branch Police Chief Frank Rizzuto said the situation was “disappointing.”
“The officers in our agency risk their lives daily to protect and serve our residents,” Rizzuto said. “It is disappointing beyond measure that one of our officers could have risked the safety of his family and neighbors by engaging in such dangerous conduct. The officer’s actions do not reflect the moral compass of our officers or this agency.”
Long Branch police were called to Walls’ home Saturday night for a domestic disturbance, authorities said. An unidentified resident of the home alerted authorities on the scene that Walls “was involved in suspicious narcotics activity.” (RELATED: Drug Lab Explodes In The Middle Of A Denver Homeless Encampment)
The New Jersey State Police Hazmat Unit arrived on scene and found “materials, chemicals and instruments consistent with a methamphetamine laboratory in both the basement of the residence and in a shed on the property,” according to the statement. The hazmat unit confirmed Walls had all the ingredients to make methamphetamine and said there was methamphetamine residue in some of the glassware at the scene.
Walls was also allegedly in possession of books relating to making methamphetamine, explosives and poison. Police also say they discovered multiple guns, high-capacity magazines and ammunition in an unsecured safe.
Walls faces multiple charges, along with second-degree child endangerment charge and firearm possession during a controlled-dangerous substance offense. Walls could face up to 60 years in prison if convicted.