Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bad Monsignor

Misconduct among high-profile religious leaders has become common enough these days but this one takes the cake. Monsignor Kevin Wallin of Connecticut was arrested at the beginning of this month on drug charges. Wallin is accused of dealing methamphetamine worth more than $300,000 during the last six months of 2012. His drug operation also apparently included the purchase of a sex toy and adult video shop through which he laundered the proceeds. While the Bible in fact says nothing about drugs or drug use, it should be pretty clear that becoming a major drug kingpin is not exactly considered Christian behavior.

Last July, Drug Enforcement Administration agents in New York told agents in the New Haven office that there was an unidentified Connecticut-based drug trafficker distributing methamphetamine in the region. Two months later, an informant told the DEA that the trafficker was Wallin, according to an affidavit by agent Jay Salvatore in New Haven.

The Connecticut Statewide Narcotics Task Force was also investigating Wallin. Authorities said an undercover officer with the state task force bought methamphetamine from Wallin six times from Sept. 20 to Jan. 2, paying more than $3,400 in total for 23 grams of the drug.

The article notes that Wallin resigned from his parish in 2011, claiming "personal and health problems," and his case has drawn comparisons to that of Walter White, the fictional chemistry teacher on the popular television series Breaking Bad who turns to cooking methamphetamine after being diagnosed with cancer. One wonders if a similar health scare might have prompted Wallin's abrupt entry into the world of high-profile drug dealing after years as a devoted priest, or if his addiction to the drug dates back further and led directly to the problems he cited at his resignation.

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