Connecticut Priest Who Ran Meth Ring Pleads for Leniency

A suspended Roman Catholic priest who authorities say dealt pounds of methamphetamine and bought a sex shop to possibly launder his drug money is asking a federal judge for leniency when he is sentenced next week.

Monsignor Kevin Wallin's public defender filed a sentencing request in federal court in Hartford on Monday, citing Wallin's three decades of charitable service as well as more than 80 letters of support, including one from the late Cardinal Edward Egan.

Wallin, 63, is the former pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Bridgeport and was arrested on Jan. 3, 2013, accused of receiving shipments of crystal meth from a California distributor and selling drugs to an undercover officer six times between September 2012 and January 2013.

He pleaded guilty in 2013 to a methamphetamine conspiracy charge and agreed to a possible prison sentence of 10 to 11 years.

According to court documents, Wallin had a crystal meth addiction and sold the drug out of his Waterbury apartment, as well as from the parking lot of Land of Oz in North Haven, an adult specialty store and smoke shop, that he bought in the fall.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 24 and Wallin is now asking for four years in prison and 500 hours of community service.

Prosecutors want at least a 10-year prison sentence.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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