[UPDATED with Cross Dressing, Sex Shop:] Chad McCluskey and Kristen Laschober, Typical OC Couple, Tied with Priest to Meth Ring: Feds
See the update at the end of this post about new revelations about the Orange County couple and apparently kinky Connecticut priest.
ORIGINAL POST, JAN. 18, 8:08 A.M.: It's not difficult to find San Clemente's Chad McCluskey online. His Facebook, Twitter and online photo sharing pages--open to all, just Google him--show a 43-year-old who loves family, his girlfriend and snapping pictures on vacation, at pop concerts and of his remodeling projects. He just seems to be the average Orange County dude, one you'd never expect to be held in federal lockup in Connecticut on charges of being part of a meth-sales ring that includes his lover and a Roman Catholic monsignor.
The good news here is we finally have a story here involving a priest and a refreshingly different kind of pipe smoking. The bad news for Father Kevin Wallin, who formerly served at St. Augustine's Cathedral parish in Bridgeport, Conn., as well as McCluskey, his girlfriend Kristen Laschober, 47, of Laguna Niguel, and two other Connecticut men is they are all charged under a federal indictment with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
Kristen Laschober and Chad McCluskey on vacation in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
The U.S. Attorney's office says sentencing guidelines for the federal conspiracy counts range from 10 years to life in prison and fines up to $10 million.
Wallin, once a close aide of former Bishop Edward Egan, faces the possibility of an additional 20 years in prison and millions more in fines because authorities claim they found 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine and 50 grams of actual methamphetamine when police and Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided the 61-year-old's apartment on Jan. 3.
The federal indictment states court-authorized wire taps, controlled drug buys, physical surveillance and undercover officers were used to unraveled the conspiracy.
Besides methamphetamine, the raid of the priest's apartment uncovered drug paraphernalia and drug packaging materials, according to the indictment.
Wallin allegedly received drug shipments from California six times between September 2012 and January 2013. Perhaps it is telling that the flurry of activity commons for years and years on McCluskey's social media pages seems to end just a couple months before the first shipment.
Speaking of shipping,
McClatchey's McCluskey's Facebook page indicates he hails from Evaston, Ill., and works in "global distribution" for Pure Chip, an Orange County company that distributes electronic equipment. His smugmug page states Laschober is a wardrobe stylist. They were reportedly arrested Jan. 10 in Las Vegas.
UPDATE, JAN. 18, 11:46 A.M.: The case of the Connecticut priest accused of pushing meth and the Orange County couple who allegedly supplied the drugs has officially gotten weirder, based on reporting out of the Nutmeg State. (Perhaps it's also worth noting it's been nicknamed "The State of Steady Habits.")
Here are new revelations courtesy of sources culled by the Connecticut Post's Daniel Tepfer:
- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., relieved Monsignor Kevin Wallin of his priestly duties in May after discovering he was a cross-dresser who had sex in his cathedral's rectory.
- The diocese claims there is no evidence of Wallin having sold drugs while serving as a priest, but following his arrest the same day he was planning to leave for a London vacation, he was dubbed by some in his community "Msgr. Meth."
- Parishoners did report odd behavior by Wallin beginning in 2011. Church officials found sex toys in Wallin's apartment before relieving him of his duties.
- After leaving the priesthood, Msgr. Meth bought Land of Oz, a North Haven, Conn., adult sex shop where he is believed, according to the federal indictment, of laundering profits from meth sales of up to $9,000 a week.
- An informant tipped the feds that he met Wallin at a party and that the 61-year-old offered to sell him meth. Six drug buys were arranged with the feds secretly watching.
- Wallin could not participate in one transaction because he'd entered rehab for his own meth addiction, but he supplied the phone number of his California drug connection, which led to the arrest of Chad
McClatcheyMcCluskey and Kristen Laschober.
- The couple shipped Wallin the drugs, according to the indictment.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.