Andrea Swalec

Arlington Firefighter Arrested on Drug Charges

An on-duty firefighter in Arlington County was arrested Sunday after police say she had narcotics in her belongings while on the job.

Firefighter Stephanie Desai, 36, was arrested at Fire Station #2 in the Ballston area and charged with possession of a narcotic and petit larceny.

Desai, of Alexandria, was arrested after "it was determined that prescribed medication had been removed from the victim’s personal belongings within the fire station," Arlington police said in a statement.

Officers responded to the 4800 block of Wilson Boulevard about 4:25 a.m.

Information was not available immediately on what narcotic Desai allegedly had, or why she faces a petit larceny charge.

Desai, a two-year veteran of the fire department, was placed on administrative leave without pay.

The charges will be thoroughly investigated, Fire Chief James Bonzano said.

“Arlington County Fire Department strives to maintain the highest degree of professionalism and public trust. Firefighter 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," he said in a statement.

Desai was released on bond.

Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.

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