Christopher Walls has been with the Long Branch Police Department in New Jersey for 19 years. Charges filed in connection with an alleged meth lab at his home could send him to prison for a similar amount of time. Prosecutors say that when Long Branch officers were called to the 50-year-old officer's home for a domestic disturbance Sunday night, another resident alleged that he was involved in "suspicious narcotics activity." A state police hazmat unit found the ingredients and equipment to manufacture methamphetamine in the home's basement and a shed, along with methamphetamine residue and books on how to make the drug, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.
Walls, who had an annual salary of $128,000, has been suspended without pay, NJ.com reports. He faces numerous charges relating to the alleged meth lab and an open and unsecured gun safe found at his home, which prosecutors say was accessible to a child living there. The most serious charge, maintaining or operating a methamphetamine production facility, could send him to prison for 20 years. "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," Acting Long Branch Police Chief Frank Rizzuto said, per NBC10. (Read more New Jersey stories.)