A Connecticut priest has been charged with helping to run a cross-country methamphetamine distribution ring. Officials also believe his was laundering his drug money through the local sex shop he owned.
Monsignor Kevin Wallin (61), now nicknamed “Monsignor Meth” in the press, was reportedly removed from his duties at Bridgeport's St. Augustine Cathedral last year when the Catholic Church discovered he was a cross-dresser who was having sex in the rectory. The Church continued to pay his stipend until he was arrested for selling meth to undercover police on six different occasions, reports the Connecticut Post.
According to his indictment, Wallin was selling up to $9,000 of meth per week.
Having been given a “sabbatical” by the Catholic Church Wallin bought an adult specialty and video store, which sells sex toys and X-rated DVDs. Investigators believe he used the store, in North Haven, called Land of Oz, to launder thousands of dollar every week.
Wallin is indicted with receiving drug shipments from suppliers in California. He then sold the drugs to undercover police officers, on six different occasions between September 2012 and 3rd January 2013, when he was arrested.
Kenneth Devries (52) of Waterbury, Michael Neslon (40) from Manchester, Chad McCluskey (43) from San Clemente, California, and Kristen Laschober (47) from Laguna Niguel, California were also arrested in connection to this alleged meth drug ring.
The former priest is being detained without bond pending an arraignment next week. If convicted Wallin could face up to 20 years in prison and fines of $2 million.
Previous reports had stated that Wallin had stepped down from his position in St. Augustine’s citing health concerns and person problems as the reason.
A statement from the Church, released by NBC read: “During his sabbatical, the Diocese became concerned about Msgr. Wallin's well-being and have continued to reach out to him…To date, he has not spoken directly with diocesan officials.
“News of [his] 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.”
The Diocese officials have stressed that they had no information of Wallin’s involvement in selling drugs during his career as a priest.