The Daily Mail Online (UK)
PUBLISHED: 21:36 GMT, 27 March 2013 | UPDATED: 21:38 GMT, 27 March 2013
A suspended Roman Catholic priest accused of earning more than $300,000 from methamphetamine sales plans to plead guilty to one charge against him, according to a court filing in Connecticut on Tuesday.
Kevin Wallin, popularly dubbed ‘Monsignor Meth,’ is to plead guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine in a Hartford courtroom next week, 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 had meth mailed to him from co-conspirators in California and made more than $300,000 in drugs sales out of his Waterbury apartment in the second half of 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, through which he laundered the money.
Wallin was the pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Bridgeport for nine years until he resigned in June 2011, citing health and personal problems. Before that he served six years as pastor of St Peter’s Church in Danbury until 2002.
According to a New York Times report, the priest was expected by many to become a bishop.
But the report states he began wrestling with his faith, with one church worker saying: ‘He had become disillusioned with the bureaucracy of the church.’
The worker and others said the priest had long had sex with men and was a cross dresser.
Friends became concerned about the state of his mind as he was found to be ‘very off-kilter’ by early 2011, according to the report, and one close friend said he sometimes spoke incessantly.
In June of that year he was told to resign by Bishop William E. Lori following allegations ‘of sexual activity in the rectory’, according to the Times’ report.
He was ordered to get a medical evaluation, which found he needed treatment.
When he resisted, Bishop Lori suspended his faculties, meaning he was not allowed to act publicly as a priest.
Later that month Wallin checked into St Luke Institute, a psychiatric hospital which treats Catholic clergymen.
There, according to some who know him, his amphetamine use was found out. Against staff wishes, he left the hospital on November 4.
Authorities believe by the following year he had become a drug dealer, living in an apartment in Waterbury.
The Diocese of Bridgeport suspended him from public ministry last May.
On January 3 federal agents arrested Wallin with a grand jury indicting 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. That’s the charge that Wallin plans to plead guilty to.
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 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.’
Wallin faces up to 20 years behind bars and a $2million fine if convicted.
Meth-Dealing Catholic Priest Who Owned Porn Shop Plans to Confess Guilt
‘Monsignor Meth’ allegedly made $300,000 in drug sales
March 27, 2013 RSS Feed Print
By Steven Nelson
Kevin Wallin, right, is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
Kevin Wallin, the 61-year-old Connecticut priest nicknamed “Monsignor Meth” after his January 3 arrest for operating a drug-dealing ring, is expected to plead guilty next week to one count of conspiracy, according to news reports.
Wallin was ordained a priest by the Roman Catholic Church in 1984 and worked in Bridgeport and Danbury, Conn., churches until 2011. His intention to plead guilty to one conspiracy charge was made public in a Tuesday court filing.
Prosecutors say Wallin made $300,000 in methamphetamine sales from his apartment and from the parking lot of an adult bookstore he owned. Four alleged accomplices were also arrested in what Connecticut U.S. Attorney David Fein touted as “the dismantling of … a significant methamphetamine distribution organization that spanned from California to Connecticut.”
The bookstore—which sold pornography and sex toys—was believed to be a front business for Wallin to launder his drug money.
According to the Connecticut Post, by pleading guilty Wallin may induce the prosecutor to dismiss six charges of possession with intent to distribute the drug. He may also avoid a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, the Post reports, by applying for a “safety valve” exception for first-time offenders.
The Hartford Courant reports that Wallin was himself addicted to meth, according to court documents, and at some point before his arrest “was ordered by his employer to enter a rehabilitation program.” It’s unclear who that employer was, but a spokesman for the Diocese of Bridgeport, which was paying Wallin a stipend until his arrest, said it wasn’t the church.
Wallin resigned from his Bridgeport post in June 2011 and was allowed to take a sabbatical. Church authorities reportedly had become alarmed by Wallin’s behavior after they discovered he was a cross-dresser and was having sex in the rectory of St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport.
The Connecticut Post reported in January that, according to sources, Wallin “sometimes dressed as a woman, [and] would entertain odd-looking men, some who were also dressed in women’s clothing and engaging in sex acts.”
A spokesman for the Bridgeport Diocese on Wednesday told the Post: “It is a difficult moment for all of us, but we hope it is also the first step in rebuilding his life. We pray that he moves toward healing and wholeness.”
Several publications have noted the uncanny similarity between Wallin’s story and the fictional life of Walter White, the main character in the popular AMC show “Breaking Bad.” The series, which debuted in 2008, centers on White’s transformation from a frustrated and bored school teacher into a wealthy meth-dealing kingpin.