When a crystal meth dealer from California, Chad McCluskey, and a Roman Catholic monsignor, Kevin Wallin, become drug-dealing business partners, is it a match made in heaven? It might as well have been having the two been able to continue their operation without consequence. According to federal documents, the unlikely duo engaged in a drug-dealing operation that resulted in the transportation of up to three pounds of crystal methamphetamine a month and thousands of dollars in profit.
Monsignor Kevin Wallin, the former pastor of the St. Augustine Cathedral and St. Peter’s Church, pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, but his sentencing has been postponed. When sentenced, Wallin faces 14 years in prison for his crimes.
HOW DID THE METH SALE OPERATION WORK?
Why a Roman Catholic monsignor would feel the need to become a drug kingpin is unknown, but his effectiveness in doing so is equally interesting. Several years ago, Chad McCluskey and Monsignor Kevin Wallin struck a deal on the west coast to begin what would become a large-scale operation to transport, distribute, and sell methamphetamine.
According to McCluskey’s statements, their method of transporting crystal meth was via mail. McCluskey would mail Wallin methamphetamine. Wallin would then sell the drugs and send money back to McCluskey via FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service.
Later on, McCluskey’s girlfriend allegedly began supplying Wallin with large amounts of GHB, which is commonly known as the “date rape drug”. Wallin, McCluskey, McCluskey’s girlfriend Kristin Laschober, Michael Nelson, and Kenneth Devries, all pleaded guilty last year for their involvement in the operation.
HOW WERE THEY CAUGHT?
In 2010, the Connecticut State Police Statewide Narcotics Task Force as well as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration began to take a close look at Wallin and his operation. After multiple wiretaps, undercover police officer purchases, surveillance, and a raid on Wallin’s apartment in January 2013, authorities had enough to begin filing charges.
During the raid, officers found a letter detailing communications between Wallin and McCluskey, including details about the payment made and shipments sent between the two parties.
WHAT PENALTIES MIGHT THEY FACE?
Since the operation and violations occurred throughout several states, the charges that all of the individuals faces are Federal drug charges. Had the offenses been committed in a single state, the charges and penalties would likely be very different.
All parties involved pleaded guilty to federal charges. If those Federal charges were trafficking, they could face the following penalties.
First Federal Trafficking Offense: No less than 10 years in Federal prison and no more than life. If death or serious bodily injury occurred as a result of their trafficking violation, no less than 20 years in federal prison. The convicted could also face a fine of up to $10,000,000.
Second Federal Trafficking Offense: No less than 20 years in prison and no more than life. If serious bodily injury or death occurred as a result of their trafficking violation, life imprisonment becomes an available sentence. A fine of up to $20,000,000 could also be imposed.
2 or More Prior Offenses: Life imprisonment. Fine of up to $20,000,000.
FEDERAL DRUG CRIME DEFENSE
If you or someone you know is facing crystal meth possession, transportation, or distribution charges, taking advantage of a free consultation with a skilled drug crime defense attorney may be in your best interest. No matter what the circumstances of an individual’s case are, there are likely to be multiple opportunities for a skilled defense attorney to give you a better chance of being successful. Police make mistakes, which could lead to a case dismissal or a not guilty verdict.