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Veteran Minneapolis firefighter is charged with drug possession

A veteran Minneapolis firefighter was charged with drug possession Wednesday after he was found with drugs during a search in a city fire station.

Updated: March 28, 2012 - 11:06 PM

A veteran Minneapolis firefighter was charged with drug possession Wednesday after he was found with drugs during a search in a city fire station.

Police said they searched the lockers and sleeping area of Lawrence Anthony Wajda Jr. at Fire Station 19 on the University of Minnesota campus on Tuesday and found about a half of a gram of methamphetamine on Wajda.

Also arrested and charged was Autumn Marie Ronning, 33, of Foreston, Minn., who was at the station during the search. She is not a firefighter. During their search of Wajda's sleeping area, officers went through a luggage bag, which Ronning said was hers, and found an Ecstasy pill. A 0.2-gram baggie of methamphetamine was found in Ronning's possession after her arrest, in addition to eight Suboxone pills. Suboxone is a semi-synthetic opiate used to treat drug addiction.

Ronning had outstanding warrants and prior drug possession convictions.

Wajda, 42, of Coon Rapids, also faces charges in Anoka County for drug possession and sales. Firearms were seized from his home Tuesday.

Wajda has been with the department since 1991. He remained on active firefighting status Wednesday but that "is subject to change as the investigation moves forward," city spokesman Matt Laible said.

Wajda and Ronning were still in custody at Hennepin County jail on Wednesday afternoon.

NICOLE NORFLEET

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