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Priest guilty in meth ring conspiracy

April 2, 2013 at 1:50 PM

HARTFORD, Conn., April 2 (UPI) -- A suspended Catholic priest pleaded guilty in a Connecticut court Tuesday to participating in a methamphetamine distribution ring.

Monsignor Kevin Wallin, 61, of Bridgeport, Conn., will be sentenced in June after pleading guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to possess the stimulant with intent to distribute, court documents said.

His indictment in January stunned the Bridgeport diocese, where he formerly served in positions including personal secretary to a succession of bishops. He resigned in 2011 from his last appointment as the monsignor of St. Augustine's Church, Bridgeport's principal parish, citing "health and personal issues," the Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported Tuesday.

Wallin was accused of buying methamphetamine from two California suppliers, who, with two other Connecticut men, were charged in the conspiracy with Wallin. All but Wallin have pleaded not guilty, the newspaper said.

Wallin entered his plea in U.S. District Court in Hartford, before Senior Judge Alfred V. Covello, and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years.

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