The Catholic Church has had a rough few years. We’ve got abuse scandals galore, now we have this.
A prominent priest who served as pastor of St. Augustine’s Cathedral parish in Bridgeport and was a close aide to then-Bishop Edward Eganwas indicted on charges he was part of a drug ring that conspired to sell methamphetamine.
Oh. For. Pete’s. Sake. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. This coming from someone who has written a fair amount of fiction.
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.
What kind of evidence does the Feds have?
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.
Wallace has seemed to separate himself from his superiors.
“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.”
What kind of future can he anticipate?
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.
*Update:* We have a twist.
The case of a Connecticut priest indicted this week on charges of distributing crystal meth took a bizarre turn as strange new details came to light concerning the religious leader’s life after leaving the priesthood.
It’s like watching a car wreck. Yet, I can’t turn away.
Now it appears the man some have nicknamed “Monsignor Meth” may have engaged in a host of illicit and unconventional activities, in addition to the drug dealing. New allegations include cross-dressing, having sex in the St. Augustine rectory and laundering meth profits through a North Haven sex shop called Land of Oz.
Well, consider yourself updated, right after you read this:
A source told the Post that rectory officials were aware that Wallin occasionally cross-dressed and engaged in sex acts with “odd-looking men,” who also sometimes dressed in women’s clothing. Diocese officials said they found “bizarre sex toys” in the residence, according to the source.
Expect a movie-of-the-week on this subject soon.