A Connecticut Roman Catholic priest convicted of selling methamphetamine will not go back to prison, despite failing required drug tests.
Kevin Wallin, a former Bridgeport Diocese monsignor dubbed "Monsignor Meth" in some media reports, had been convicted of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and sentenced to 65 months in prison.
Wallin pleaded guilty in 2013 to a methamphetamine conspiracy charge. He was released in 2016 but failed six required drug tests while on supervised release, prompting his parole officer to seek to revoke his parole.
In court documents, Wallin and his federal defender requested a continuation of his supervised release, arguing that he was working to overcome a meth addiction and that returning to prison would be a detriment to that. They argued that he received support and routine in his daily life from therapy, volunteer work and community service.
"Continuing his supervision, albeit with home confinement, will allow him to continue benefitting from that support in a structured context that will maximize his chances of success."
At a hearing Thursday, Judge Alfred V. Covello decided against sending Wallin back to prison.
When Wallin was originally sentenced, dozens of supporters turned up at court, asking for leniency in light of his years of charitable service.
This decision comes against recommendations of Wallin’s probation officer and against recommendations of Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Caruso.