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Meth the hell out Irish priest caught with illegal drugs has been dumped by Pope Francis

Michael O'Leary, originally from Dublin, was arrested in 2019 after being caught in a New York car park with more than half-an-ounce of methamphetamine.


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Former priest Michael O’Leary

Former priest Michael O’Leary

Former priest Michael O’Leary

A former Irish priest who pleaded guilty to possessing crystal meth had been removed from ministry by Pope Francis.

Michael O'Leary, originally from Dublin, was arrested in 2019 after being caught in a New York car park with more than half-an-ounce of methamphetamine.

The 52-year-old was charged and later released on bail before pleading guilty to two charges, including attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell it.

He had been awaiting sentencing, with his case listed for compliance to ensure he was abiding by certain court conditions.

Records show that on Wednesday at Westchester County Criminal Court, the attempted drug-dealing charge, the most serious of the two, was dismissed.

He was sentenced for the lesser charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance, which is categorised as a misdemeanour under New York State law.

O'Leary was given a conditional discharge for one year and released on his own recognisance. It means he will avoid serving any prison time and possibly a criminal conviction if he does not commit an offence over the next 12 months.

The charge of attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree with intent of sale or supply was recorded as dismissed.

Court records stated O'Leary was the driver of a Toyota vehicle that was searched by police in the March 17, 2019, incident.

Pipes

Officers discovered a number of plastic bags, 16 grams of methamphetamine and two glass pipes.

One of the pipes had residue of the drug on it.

Digital weighing scales were also recovered from the vehicle.

O'Leary's co-accused, Alberto Calderon (29), of Brooklyn, New York, faced three charges, including the sale of drugs and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.

A notice in Catholic New York, America's largest Catholic newspaper, in June of last year confirmed O'Leary had been laicised by Pope Francis.


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