Police officer accused of building meth lab in his NJ home
FREEHOLD, N.J. (WCBS) - A veteran police officer from New Jersey has been suspended without pay as he faces charges related to creating a meth lab, allegedly at his own home.
Prosecutors say 50-year-old Officer Christopher Walls with Long Branch Police was assembling a methamphetamine lab in the basement and back shed of his Freehold, New Jersey, home. His wife and 13-year-old daughter also live in the home.
“Shock – complete shock, I never in a million years would have suspected this,” said Walls’ friend, Nick Luna.
Police were called to the house just after 10:30 p.m. Saturday for a health and wellness check. Someone in the home then told them about the suspicious activity.
Soon after, officials say state and local hazmat and narcotics units found chemicals and materials consistent with a meth lab.
“If you use the wrong ingredients in the slightest bit, it could result in a major explosion, taking out the house [and] potentially even a city block,” said Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Police also uncovered books related to making meth, explosives and poison, as well as a large, open and unsecured gun safe, which had more than 12 guns and ammunition.
Walls faces charges related to creating a meth lab and endangering the welfare of a child. The 19-year veteran of the force has been suspended without pay. If convicted on all charges, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
“This is clearly a blemish on the integrity of our profession, but the important thing is we all know it and we accept that, as does the Long Branch Police Department,” Gramiccioni said.
Gramiccioni does not believe Walls was working on the lab while on police duty. Sources say Walls does not have any record of wrongdoing with the police department.
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