Heroin in church - official jailed for drug dealing
8 November 2007, Halberstadt, Germany - A lay official of an historic Lutheran church in Germany was jailed for four and a half years for drug dealing Thursday after police found a stash of heroin in the church safe.
8 November 2007
Halberstadt, Germany - A lay official of an historic Lutheran church in Germany was jailed for four and a half years for drug dealing Thursday after police found a stash of heroin in the church safe.
The 47-year-old sexton, a kind of building manager with no religious duties, was arrested in the central city of Magdeburg just after buying 3 kilograms of marijuana from a Dutch truck driver.
Police later found 27 grams of heroin in a wall-safe in the basement of St Stephen's Cathedral in the quaint half-timbered town of Halberstadt, where the sexton had been employed for 18 years.
The 13th-century Gothic church was styled a cathedral, or the seat of a bishop, before the Protestant Reformation, and retains that title though it has not been used by a bishop for centuries.
In a plea bargain, the accused admitted numerous drug offences between December 2006 and Juni 2007 and other charges were dropped.
Lutheran officials voiced shock when the drugs trade was discovered and sacked the sexton. Halberstadt, south-west of Berlin, is in former East Germany, where religious belief dramatically declined during four decades of communism.
Subject: German news