Veteran New Jersey cop arrested after meth lab found in basement

LONG BRANCH, N.J. — A veteran New Jersey police officer was arrested Saturday after officers were called to his house for a domestic disturbance and found a methamphetamine lab in his basement and shed.

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Long Branch police responded to a “domestic disturbance” around 10:36 p.m. at officer Christopher Walls’ home, WPIX reported. Walls, 50, served 19 years with the Long Branch Police Department.

Monmouth County prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said a person at the home told officers that Walls was involved in “suspicious narcotics activity.”

New Jersey State Police and a hazardous materials team were called in 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,” Gramiccioni said. “Walls was in possession of all ingredients necessary to manufacture methamphetamine.”

Investigators found methamphetamine residue on “chemistry-related” glassware in the labs. They also found an unsecured gun safe which contained two long guns, four handguns, eight high capacity magazines and a large amount of ammunition. Walls also had books related to making methamphetamine, bombs and poisons, officials said.

Walls was arrested and charged with first degree maintaining or operating a controlled dangerous substance 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 methamphetamine and third degree possession. He faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

He was immediately suspended without pay after his arrest.

“The officers in our agency risk their lives daily to protect and serve our residents,” Acting Long Branch Police Chief Frank 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.”