A former Roman Catholic priest in the US is facing drug charges after he was allegedly caught selling methamphetamine to undercover police officers.
Kevin Wallin, 61, was one of five people arrested and detained for allegedly operating a drug ring that smuggled shipments of methamphetamine from California to Connecticut.
The group have been charged with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and Wallin faces separate charges of possession with intent to distribute.
Federal prosecutors said the former priest sold methamphetamine to an undercover officer on six occasions and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Wallin served as a pastor at St Augustine’s parish in Bridgeport, Connecticut, for nine years before resigning in June 2011 for personal reasons.
The Diocese of Bridgeport placed the priest on sabbatical and in this time grew concerned about his wellbeing.
He was reportedly unresponsive to help and the diocese formally suspended him in May 2012. Officials at his former church expressed concern at news of Wallin’s arrest.
“News of Monsignor Kevin Wallin's arrest comes with a sense of shock and concern on the part of the diocese and the many people of Fairfield County who have known him as a gifted, accomplished and compassionate priest,” the diocese said in a statement.
Author: Sylvia Varnham O'Regan, Approving editor: Fiona Willan