A New Jersey police officer was arrested Saturday after authorities discovered that he had been building a methamphetamine lab in the basement of his home.
Christopher Walls, a 19-year veteran officer, had assembled his meth lab in the basement and back shed of his Monmouth County home that he shares with his wife and 13-year-old.
Police were called to Walls’ home around 10:30 pm Saturday night for a health and wellness check following a reported domestic disturbance. An individual living in the home revealed to the police that the officer “was involved in suspicious narcotics activity.”
According to the Office of the Monmouth County Prosecutor, state and local hazmat and narcotics units arrived shortly thereafter and discovered materials, chemicals, and instruments “consistent with a methamphetamine laboratory in both the basement of the residence and the shed on the property.”
Police also uncovered books related to poison, explosives and meth in the officer’s house. Additionally, a large unsecured gun safe was found open and filled with “two long guns, four handguns, eight high-capacity magazines, and a large quantity of ammunition.”
“If you use the wrong ingredients in the slightest bit, it could result in a major explosion, taking out if not the house, potentially even like a city block,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said.
“When he was off duty, I would say he was always in the garage and working alone,” said Joano DosSantos, a neighbor of the 50-year-old officer. “Sometimes there were boxes going in and coming out.”
Walls is facing numerous charges including first-degree maintaining or operating a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) production facility, second-degree risking widespread injury, and third-degree possession of CDS (methamphetamine).
If convicted of the first-degree charge, the officer will receive 20 years in prison. If Walls is found guilty of any of the second-degree charges, he will face 10 years in prison. Walls is expected in court on Thursday and is currently suspended from the police department without pay.