Court Hearing Scheduled For Priest In Meth Case
By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN, Associated Press
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ A suspended Roman Catholic priest in Connecticut accused of taking in more than $300,000 from sales of methamphetamines plans to plead guilty to one of the charges against him, according to court filing Tuesday.
Kevin Wallin is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Hartford next week for a hearing in which he would plead guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, according to the filing obtained by The Associated Press.
A message left with his attorney wasn’t immediately returned.
Authorities say the 61-year-old Wallin had meth mailed to him from co-conspirators in California and made more than $300,000 in drugs sales out of his Waterbury apartment last year.
He also bought a small adult video and sex toy shop in the nearby town of North Haven named “Land of Oz & Dorothy’s Place,” authorities said.
Wallin, dubbed in some media as “Monsignor Meth,” was the pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Bridgeport for nine years until he resigned in June 2011, citing health and personal problems. He previously served six years as pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Danbury until 2002.
He was granted a sabbatical in July 2011. The Diocese of Bridgeport suspended him from public ministry last May.
Federal agents arrested Wallin on Jan. 3, and a grand jury indicted him and four other people on drug charges on Jan. 15. All are charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing meth and 50 grams of actual meth, a crime that carries 10 years to life in prison upon conviction.
Wallin was also charged with six counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of meth.
An undercover officer with the state task force bought meth from Wallin six times from Sept. 20 to Jan. 2, paying more than $3,400 in total for 23 grams of the drug, authorities said.
Federal agents also say they learned through wiretaps and informants about other sales Wallin was making.
Connecticut U.S. Attorney David Fein said federal and state authorities worked together in “the dismantling of what we allege was a significant methamphetamine distribution organization that spanned from California to Connecticut.”
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