It’s just like Breaking Bad, but replace the mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher with a prominent Catholic priest. Monsignor Kevin Wallin of Bridgeport, Conn., is facing trial for selling up to $9,000 of methamphetamine a week and has been relieved of his ecumenical duties after superiors learned of his alleged penchant for gay sex on church grounds.
The 61-year-old was suspended from duties at Bridgeport’s St. Augustine Cathedral in May as a result of his increasingly erratic behavior. “We became aware that he was acting out sexually — with men — in the church rectory,” Brian Wallace, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, told the Connecticut Post. A source also told the paper that Wallin allegedly enjoyed dressing in women’s clothes. However, the monsignor continued to receive a stipend from the diocese until his Jan. 3 arrest at his apartment on drug charges, according to a report in the Connecticut Post. (The diocese denies any knowledge of alleged narcotics peddling by Wallin.)
The arrest sent shock waves through the Bridgeport community, where Wallin was respected for his extensive charity work and his charming sermons. “There is an evil invading our world and it has come to our church,” longtime parishioner Maria Spencer-Fonseca told those gathered outside the cathedral on Thursday, according to the Connecticut Post. “This was a work of evil — and I am praying for the monsignor.” Wallin was previously a respected and influential member of the clergy who served as pastor of St. Peter Parish in Danbury, Conn., according to the Huffington Post, and also worked as an aide to Bishop Edward Egan, who later became a Cardinal and the Archbishop of New York.
Federal court records allege that Monsignor Wallin sold several grams of highly refined crystal meth — testing up to 98.5% pure — to undercover cops on six different occasions over the course of five months. He also received a consignment of nearly 400 g of the drug in December from connections in California, according to the indictment. According to media reports, Wallin was also an owner of a North Haven, Conn., sex-toy and drug-paraphernalia shop called Land of Oz, which may have been used as a money-laundering front. Wallin and four associates are scheduled to be arraigned this week, according to the Daily Beast; they are expected to plead not guilty.