A father-of-three with no previous convictions has been jailed for 10 years today for possession of €658,000 worth of cannabis.
Thomas Carroll (aged 32) was not known to gardai and has been in full employment all his adult life, the court heard.
Carroll of The Strand, Donabate pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession with intent to supply of 94 kilogrammess of cannabis outside Donaghmede Shopping Centre on April 7, 2009.
Judge Katherine Delahunt said that the court had regard to Carroll’s early plea and the fact that he had no previous convictions.
However, Judge Delahunt said that Carroll’s lack of garda profile was a “double-edged sword”, as it shielded him from the attention of the authorities.
She said that the court noted that Carroll did not have a drug addiction problem and that a psychiatric report indicated he suffered with depression, although this was as a result of his offending.
She said that Carroll was “way above” the bottom of the drugs trade ladder and that he was no “callow youth” as he had willfully and actively engaged in the drugs trade.
Judge Delahunt said that the court that was satisfied that the mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment was appropriate in Carroll’s case.
Detective Garda Daragh O’Toole told prosecuting counsel, Mr Garrett Baker BL, that after receiving information about a drug deal, a surveillance operation was set up at the shopping centre.
Gardaí saw a blue Ford Transit Van enter the car park and come to a stop. A silver Ford Fiesta, driven by Carroll, parked beside it.
Gardai saw the men take 14 boxes from the van and put them in the boot of the car before both vehicles drove off. As they were on the motorway gardaí pulled both men over.
A search of Carroll’s car revealed the boxes in the boot. They were labelled as containing tiles but actually contained bars of cannabis. He was arrested and interviewed but made no admissions.
Defence counsel, Mr Paul Greene SC, said his client was married with three children and had worked as a carpenter since living school.
He submitted that Carroll was an unusual candidate for a serious drugs offence and that he had been a force for good in his community and in his family.