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Conn. man gets 27 months for priest's meth sales

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September 17, 2013 07:38 PM EST | AP

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HARTFORD, Conn. — A man who helped a priest sell methamphetamine was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to 27 months in prison.

The defense attorney for Kenneth DeVries had sought a reduced sentence of time he's already spent in jail. He said DeVries, 53, has advanced prostate cancer and full-blown AIDS and was influenced by his drug addiction and respect for the priest.

DeVries, of Waterbury, pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He could have faced up to four years in prison under sentencing guidelines.

Prosecutors had said "some accommodation" for DeVries might be appropriate because he had a limited role in the operation run by Monsignor Kevin Wallin, who has been nicknamed Monsignor Meth by media outlets.

DeVries was a neighbor of Wallin's and sold meth for him when Wallin was unavailable, prosecutors said.

Wallin was the pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Bridgeport for nine years. He resigned in June 2011, citing health and personal reasons. He was suspended from public ministry last year. He pleaded guilty to a drug charge in April and faces 11 to 14 years in prison.

DeVries' attorney said Wallin took advantage of his client, who was a meth user. DeVries said he looked up to Wallin as a religious leader and as someone who was supposed to help him.