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On-duty Arlington Co. firefighter arrested for drug offenses

WASHINGTON — An Arlington County firefighter was arrested while on-duty for drug charges.

Stephanie Desai, 36, of Arlington, Virginia, was arrested and charged with possession of a schedule II and schedule IV narcotic and petit larceny on Feb. 11.

Desai has been placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of the criminal investigation and an internal investigation conducted by the Fire Department.

She had been with the fire department for two years.

“Arlington County Fire Department strives to maintain the highest degree of professionalism and public trust,” said Fire Chief James Bonzano. “Desai is entitled to due process, however I want to assure the community that allegations of criminal or other inappropriate behavior by staff are taken seriously and comprehensively investigated, both internally and by the police department.”

It began when police responded to a call about a drug violation at Arlington County Fire Station #2 in the 4800 block of Wilson Boulevard.

When they arrived, police were told that prescription medicine had been stolen from someone’s personal belongings at the station.

Police developed a description of the suspect based on evidence located the scene and witness interviews.

Desai was interviewed by police and arrested and charged.

She was released on an unsecured bond.


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