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N.J. Police Officer Arrested and Charged with Allegedly Running Meth Lab Out of His Home

People logo People 5/18/2021 Gabrielle Chung
a man wearing a blue shirt and smiling at the camera: Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Walls © Provided by People Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Walls

A New Jersey police officer has been arrested for allegedly running a meth lab out of his home, according to prosecutors.

Christopher Walls, 50, was taken into police custody after his colleagues at the Long Branch Police Department responded to a domestic disturbance call at his residence on Saturday night, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced in a press release.

a man wearing a blue shirt and smiling at the camera: Christopher Walls © Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Walls

While investigating the scene, responding officers were told by another resident at Walls' home that the 19-year veteran was "involved in suspicious narcotics activity," Gramiccioni said.

Upon further investigation by the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) Hazmat Unit, authorities found "materials, chemicals and instruments consistent with a methamphetamine laboratory in both the basement of the residence and in a shed on the property," said the prosecutor.

Officials also alleged that Walls "was in possession of all ingredients necessary to manufacture methamphetamine" and that investigators found methamphetamine residue in chemistry-related glassware at his home.

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"A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office's Professional Responsibility and Narcotics Units and the Long Branch Police Department revealed that Walls had been in possession of books related to making methamphetamine, explosives, and poison," the release said.

Walls also had an unsecured gun safe containing two long guns, four handguns, eight high-capacity magazines, and a large quantity of ammunition that was accessible to a child living in the residence, according to officials.

The officer was arrested on Sunday and charged with first degree maintaining or operating a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) production facility, second degree possession of a firearm during the course of a CDS offense, second degree risking widespread injury, second degree endangering the welfare of a child, third degree manufacturing CDS (methamphetamine), and third degree possession of CDS (methamphetamine).

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Walls faces a maximum of 60 years in state prison if convicted of all his charges.

He is currently being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution without bond, according to online jail records.

It's unclear if he has obtained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

Since his arrest, Walls has been suspended from his position without pay, according to acting Long Branch Police Chief Frank Rizzuto.

"The officers in our agency risk their lives daily to protect and serve our residents," Rizzuto said in a statement. "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. This officer's actions do not reflect the moral compass of our officers or this agency."

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