Priest May Have Bought Adult Shop With Drug Money: Feds

The criminal complaint for a former Bridgeport priest charged in a federal crystal meth case gives a more in-depth look at what he is accused of.

According to court documents, Msg. Kevin Wallin, 61, had a crystal meth addiction and sold the drug out of his Waterbury apartment as well as the parking lot of Land of Oz in North Haven, an adult specialty store and smoke shop, which he bought in the fall. 

Investigators believe that Wallin bought the store with drug proceeds and might have intended to use it to launder drug money, according to the complaint.

Drug Enforcement Agents in New Haven started investigating in July 2012 after New York drug investigators contacted them to look into a Connecticut-based drug trafficker distributing crystal meth in the Tri-state are.

In September, New York authorities again contacted local officials and identified Wallin as a suspect in the distribution ring.

Between September 2012 and January 2013, an undercover officer bought crystal meth from Wallin six times, according to federal officials, and determined that Wallin sold drugs to users as well as distributors.

The documents released on Thursday state that the priest had a large resealable bag filled with crystal meth,  a safe in his apartment that contained a large quantity and cash and drug packaging materials that included color-coded reseal able bags.

Officials also charged Kenneth Devries, 52, of Waterbury, with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Devries lived in an apartment in the same building as Wallin. According to court documents, Wallin paid his rent and the man would allegedly run the drug operation when Wallin was away.   

Officials also charged Michael Nelson, 40, from Manchester; Chad McCluskey, 43, from San Clemente, Calif.; and Kristen Laschober, 47, from Laguna Niguel, California.

McCluskey and Laschober are accused of supplying the drugs to Wallin and court documents indicate that almost $20,000 worth of crystal meth passed between then between August and December.    

The complaint also mentions time that Wallin spent in drug rehabilitation in the fall of 2012 after his employer ordered in.

Wallin resigned as pastor of Bridgeport's St. Augustine Parish in June 2011 after nine years.
According to the Diocese of Bridgeport, Wallin, told parishioners "that he was struggling with a number of health and personal issues" and he was granted a sabbatical.

"During his sabbatical, the Diocese became concerned about Msgr. Wallin's well-being and have continued to reach out to him," the Diocese wrote in a statement. "To date, he has not spoken directly with diocesan officials."


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