“Ex-Catholic Priest in Connecticut charged in Federal drug case” & related article

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Jan 17, 2013

By Eric Morales

Bridgeport – A former secretary to Cardinal Eagan is accused of selling meth, following a investigation that saw a drug ring infiltrated by an undercover police officer.

61-year-old Monsignor Kevin Wallin resigned from St. Augustine’s parish, in 2011 citing health and personal problems. Now the former priest from Bridgeport joins four others accused of buying methamphetamine from California, and reselling it on the east coast. For the past four months the 4 men and 1 woman unknowingly sold narcotics to an uncover officer.

The Herald Standard reported Friday, that Kevin Wallin is accused of receiving the shipments of meth. A federal grand jury indicted the group Tuesday, all five are in custody and it is unknown whether they are currently represented by attorney’s.

The Diocese in Connecticut issued a statement Wednesday, according to the Courant, which stated that Monsignor Kevin Wallin, had resigned 2-years ago due to a struggle with a number of health and personal issues. Kevin Wallin had pastored at the church from 2002 until his resignation in 2011.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Bridgeport stated that the Catholic church had lost contact with the former Monsignor, since he was granted a sabbatical in July two years ago.

“Msgr. Wallin subsequently cut off communications with the Diocese,” the statement said. “As a result, his faculties for public ministry were suspended in May 2012, and he has not been reassigned. To date, he has not spoken directly with diocesan officials, though the Diocese stands ready to help as it has throughout the past two years. We ask for prayers for Msgr. Wallin during the difficult days ahead for him.”

The spokesman continued to state that Kevin Wallin was a gifted minister for the Catholic faith.

“(Kevin Wallin) was a gifted, compassionate and accomplished priest,” the spokesman said. News of the former Priest’s arrest was met with “shock and concern.”

Kevin Wallin appears to have been in possession of a large quantity of methamphetamine when he was apprehended, the former Catholic priest is charged with six counts of possession of methamphetamine, with intent to distribute.

The others indicted with Kevin Wallin include: Kenneth Devries 52-years-old, of Waterbury; Michael Nelson 40-years-old, of Manchester; Chad McCluskey 43-years-old of San Clemente, California; and Kristen Laschober, 47-years-old, of Laguna Niguel, California.

If convicted the former Monsignor would likely die in prison, along with the intent to distribute charges and conspiracy charges, Wallin faces a total of 30-years in prison. The other defendants each face a decade in jail.

Kevin Wallin was ordained as a priest in 1984, serving as a pastor at St. Augustine’s and also as a secretary to Cardinal Edward Eagan, who was a Bishop at the time.


Feds: Priest arrested for selling meth


16 January 2013

Tom Cleary

  Monsignor Kevin Wallin of the Diocese of Bridgeport, 2010. Photo: File Photo

A prominent priest who served as pastor of St. Augustine’s Cathedral parish in Bridgeport and was a close aide to then-Bishop Edward Egan was indicted on charges he was part of a drug ring that conspired to sell methamphetamine.

Msgr. Kevin Wallin of Waterbury was arrested on a criminal complaint Jan. 3 after a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force.

Wallin, 61, resigned from his position at St. Augustine’s, the main church of the Bridgeport diocese, in 2011, citing health and personal problems. He had previously served as pastor of St. Peter Parish in Danbury from 1996 to 2002, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1984.

Wallin was charged with six counts in the indictment Tuesday by a federal grand jury in Bridgeport and faces up to life in prison if he is convicted.

“News of Msgr. Kevin Wallin’s arrest comes with a sense of shock and concern on the part of the Diocese and the many people of Fairfield County who have known him as a gifted, accomplished and compassionate priest,” said Brian Wallace, director of communications for the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Wallin also worked as secretary to bishops Walter Curtis and Edward Egan in Bridgeport prior to his appointment in Danbury.

While in Bridgeport, he was a trustee at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield and served on the board of directors for the Bridgeport Catholic Elementary School system.

U.S. Attorney David Fein praised the work of local and federal law enforcement in uncovering the alleged drug ring.

“The hard work of the DEA and the Connecticut State Police in this case resulted in the dismantling of what we allege was a significant methamphetamine distribution organization that spanned from California to Connecticut,” Fein said.

Investigators used court-authorized wire taps, controlled drug buys, physical surveillance and undercover officers to unravel the conspiracy, authorities said. Agents raided Wallin’s apartment on Golden Hill Street in Waterbury on Jan. 3 and found suspected methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and drug packaging materials, according to the indictment.

Federal officials said Wallin allegedly received drug shipments from co-conspirators in California on six occasions between September 2012 and January 2013. An undercover officer then purchased the drugs from Wallin, officials said.

Wallin was granted a sabbatical by the diocese in July 2011.

“During his sabbatical, the Diocese became concerned about Msgr. Wallin’s well-being and have continued to reach out to him,” Wallace said. “To date, he has not spoken directly with diocesan officials.”

Wallace added that Wallin’s “faculties for public ministry were suspended in May 2012, and he has not been reassigned. The Diocese stands ready to help as it has throughout the past two years. We ask for prayers for Msgr. Wallin during the difficult days ahead for him.”

Wallin was charged with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine and 50 grams of actual methamphetamine and six counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

He faces a minimum prison term of 10 years and a maximum prison term of life and a fine up to $10 million on the conspiracy count and a maximum term of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million on each of the possession charges.

Four others — two Connecticut men and a man and woman from California — were arrested as part of the probe into the sales of methamphetamine, a stimulant that causes a “rush of euphoria,” after it is smoked, taken as a pill, snorted or injected, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Research from the Department of Justice shows that the drug, often referred to as “meth,” is more common in the western portion of the country, where it is both produced in small-scale labs and smuggled in from Mexico.

The other four arrested were each charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine: Kenneth “Lyme” Devries, 52, of Golden Hill Street, Waterbury; Michael Nelson, 40, of Buckland Hills Drive, Manchester; Chad McCluskey, 43, of San Clemente, Calif.; and Kristen Laschober, 47, of Laguna Niguel, Calif.

All five remain in custody, officials said. It wasn’t immediately clear if Wallin or any of the other accused have hired attorneys.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Caruso and H. Gordon Hall are prosecuting the case.

1 Response to “Ex-Catholic Priest in Connecticut charged in Federal drug case” & related article

  1. Sylvia says:

    Monsignor Kevin Wallin is not an ex-priest. As you read the article you will see that he is, sad to say, still very much a priest. He has NOT been defrocked.

    I wonder if we will ever find out why the monsignor resigned in 2011? In light of these allegations, one can only wonder what the nature of his personal problems were? Diocesan officials would or certainly should know – they gave him a sabbatical.

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