Monsignor Kevin Wallin, the ex pastor of St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport and a long-time member of the Sacred Heart University Board of Trustees has been indicted by a federal grand jury with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. In 2010 Wallin was honored at Sacred Heart University’s annual Discovery Awards and Scholarship Dinner that benefits low-income students in Fairfield County. Wallin is accused of selling methamphetamine to an undercover officer.
Connecticut Post story: www.ctpost.com/news/article/Feds-Priest-arrested-for-selling-meth-4200164.php
News release from U.S. Attorney David Fein:
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, and Colonel Danny R. Stebbins of the Connecticut State Police, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Bridgeport has returned an indictment charging three Connecticut men and two California residents with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. The indictment was returned on January 15, 2013.
According to statements made in court, this matter stems from a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Connecticut State Police’s Statewide Narcotics Task Force. The investigation has included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, controlled purchases of methamphetamine, physical surveillance and the use of an undercover officer. The investigation revealed KEVIN WALLIN of Waterbury allegedly received shipments of methamphetamine from individuals in California. On six occasions between September 2012 and January 2013, it is alleged that the undercover officer purchased methamphetamine from WALLIN.
“This case is a model for cooperation between federal and state law enforcement agencies,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “The hard work of the DEA and the Connecticut State Police in this case resulted in the dismantling of what we allege was a significant methamphetamine distribution organization that spanned from California to Connecticut.”
The indictment charges the following five individuals with one count of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, and 50 grams of actual methamphetamine:
KEVIN WALLIN, 61, of Golden Hill Street, Waterbury
KENNETH DEVRIES, also known as “Lyme,” 52, of Golden Hill Street, Waterbury
MICHAEL NELSON, 40, of Buckland Hills Drive, Manchester
CHAD McCLUSKEY, 43, of San Clemente, Calif.,
KRISTEN LASCHOBER, 47, of Laguna Niguel, Calif.
The indictment also charges WALLIN with six counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
WALLIN and DEVRIES were arrested on criminal complaints on January 3, 2013. According to statements made in court, a court-authorized search of WALLIN’s residence on that date revealed suspected methamphetamine, as well as items that government alleges are drug paraphernalia and drug packaging materials.
McCLUSKEY and LASCHOBER were arrested on criminal complaints in Las Vegas, Nev., on January 10, 2013.
NELSON was arrested yesterday after the indictment was returned.
All five defendants are currently detained, and the investigation is ongoing.
If convicted of the charge of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, and 50 grams of actual methamphetamine, each of the defendants faces a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum term of imprisonment of life and a fine of up to $10 million. If convicted of the charge of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, WALLIN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $1 million, on each count.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Patrick Caruso and H. Gordon Hall.