A priest born in Dublin who was arrested for possesion of crystal meth avoids jail, after the serious charge of intent to deal drugs was dropped. 52 year old Michael O’Leary was arrested in a New York car park in possession of 1 and a half ounces of methamphetamine.
His car, a Toyota was also searched by police on the night of his arrest. A number of plastic bags were found, along with 16g of methamphetamine and two glass pipes. One of the pipes had traces of drug residue on it. The police also recovered digital weighing scales from the car’s glove box.
The priest was charged and later released on bail. He pleaded guilty to two charges, including possession of a controlled substance and intent to supply it.
Michael O’Leary’s co-accused 29 year old Alberto Calderon was also charged with the possession of drug paraphernalia and the sale of drugs
O’Leary was awaiting sentencing with his case listed for complience, to ensure he was following certain conditions.
It was revealed on Wednesday at Winchester County Criminal Court, that the more serious charge of intent to supply was dropped against Mr O’Leary.
He was sentenced over the lesser charge of possession. Under New York State Law, that is construed as a misdemeanour.
Mr O’Leary was given a conditional discharge for a year, released on his own recognisance. This means that as long as he does not re-offend for the next 12 months, he will avoid going to prison.
The case first came to light after a separate dispute between Mr O’Leary and his siblings over a will in the High Court was postponed due to his arrest.
The Archdiocese of New York confirmed in a statement that Mr O’Leary was still a priest. They also stated that despite that, Mr O’Leary had not had an assignment for several years. He had also been suspended from the ministry.