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Suspended Conn. priest admits to drug charges

HARTFORD — A suspended Roman Catholic priest accused of making more than $300,000 in methamphetamine sales out of his Connecticut apartment and running an adult video and sex toy shop pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal drug charge.

Kevin Wallin of Waterbury admitted to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was scheduled to be sentenced June 25. The agreed-upon sentence is 11 to 14 years.

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Prosecutors said Wallin, 61, had meth mailed to him from co-conspirators in California and sold the drugs out of his Waterbury apartment last year.

He sold nearly four pounds in all, prosecutors said. He also bought an adult video and sex toy shop in North Haven named Land of Oz & Dorothy’s Place, apparently to launder the drug money, authorities said.

Dubbed in some news supports as Monsignor Meth, Wallin was pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Bridgeport for nine years until he resigned in June 2011, citing health and personal reasons. He previously served six years as pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Danbury until 2002.

He was granted a sabbatical in July 2011. The Diocese of Bridgeport suspended him from public ministry last May.

He was arrested in January, and a grand jury indicted him and four other people on drug charges.

An undercover officer bought meth from Wallin six times from Sept. 20 to Jan. 2, paying more than $3,400 in all for 23 grams of the drug, authorities said.

Federal agents said they learned through wiretaps and informants about other sales Wallin was making.

US Attorney David Fein has said the arrests dismantled ‘‘a significant methamphetamine distribution organization that spanned from California to Connecticut.’’

On social media, people could not help but compare Wallin with Walter White, the main character on ‘‘Breaking Bad,’’ who was making so much cash that he and his wife bought a car wash to launder their profits.

Also charged in the case were Kenneth Devries of Waterbury; Michael Nelson of Manchester; Chad McCluskey of San Clemente, Calif.; and Kristen Laschober of Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Authorities said McCluskey and Laschober were involved in the shipping of methamphetamine to Wallin. Cases against the four of them are pending.

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