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Priest arrested on federal drug trafficking charges

There have been a number of high-profile busts of drug trafficking organizations in recent months. Many of the alleged drug trafficking operations have originated in California with shipments of cocaine and marijuana traveling to the mid-west and beyond. In the most recent investigation multiple individuals from Connecticut and California were arrested in a methamphetamine drug trafficking operation that allegedly spanned the entire United States.

What is most surprising about the recent story is one of the key defendants in the case. According to a report one of the individuals charged, and was recently indicted by a grand jury for federal drug crimes, is a former Roman Catholic priest. In addition to the priest there were four other defendants indicted from Connecticut and California.

According to federal prosecutors involved in the case the 61-year-old former priest from Connecticut allegedly received shipments of the illegal drug methamphetamine. The drugs were shipped to the man from California, which he would then sell. According to federal investigators the priest sold the illegal drug to undercover officers on multiple occasions over the course of the last four months. He left the church for health and personal issues.

Federal drug offenses are very serious. According to the US Department of Justice website, Methamphetamine is a schedule II illegal substance. A person caught trafficking between 5 and 49 grams of pure methamphetamine or 50 to 499 grams of mixture is subject to a penalty of not less than 5 years in federal prison and not more than 40 years. Financial penalties for trafficking range from $5 million to $25 million dollars.

Source: Jackson Sun, "Ex-priest among 5 charged in federal drug probe," January 17, 2013

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