Priest pleads guilty to role in meth ring

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The Bridgeport priest nicknamed Monsignor Meth by some of his old parishioners appears headed for a decade in prison after admitting in court yesterday that he conspired to import and distribute the powerfully addictive stimulant methamphetamine.

Marshals led a shackled Kevin Wallin, 61, into federal court, where he pleaded guilty and told Senior U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello he had taken nothing stronger than medication to control his blood pressure and cholesterol level.

What Covello didn't ask was how a onetime confidant of former Cardinal Edward Egan transformed into a participant in a bicoastal conspiracy to buy and sell methamphetamine.

Last year, as federal drug agents and state police detectives finished building their drug trafficking indictment against Wallin and four others, they uncovered evidence that he was trying to open an X-rated, adult entertainment store in North Haven.

Wallin applied to the town to open the business under the corporate name Rahab and Endor. In the Bible, Rahab was a prostitute whose life God spared when Joshua and the Israelites destroyed Jericho. The Witch of Endor, according to the Bible, foretold the death of King Saul.

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The arrest warrant speculates that Wallin may have planned to use the adult business to launder drug profits. It also suggests Wallin had become addicted to methamphetamine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick F. Caruso described an investigation that led to the indictment of Wallin and four co-defendants, two in California and two in Connecticut. He said an undercover police officer bought methamphetamine from Wallin six times.

Wallin is accused of buying drugs from a California supplier and selling them in New York and Connecticut. He pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, a charge that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of up to life.

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