A Dublin man who was caught trying to flush cocaine down the toilet when gardaí arrived at his home has been jailed for five years.
Patrick Kelly (aged 32) and a man who was with him at the time, were both covered in white powder when officers forced entry into the house having knocked on the door a number of times.
Gardaí could see a cloud of white dust in the landing and found cocaine and mixing agent all over the floors upstairs and in a bedroom. A bag of cocaine was still in the toilet bowl.
Garda Michael Noone told Colm O’Briain BL, prosecuting that a blender, gloves, two weighing scales and more cocaine were found in the house, while heroin was found in the branches of a palm tree in the back garden.
Further stashes of cocaine were found under a bin in the garden.
A total of 2.9 kilograms of cocaine, worth an estimated €208,313; 489 grammes of heroin worth €73,380 and almost seven kilogrammes of mixing agents were discovered during the search.
Kelly of Croftwood Park, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the drugs for sale or supply at his home on April 8, 2014. He has no previous convictions.
The second man who was in the house at the time with Kelly has never been charged.
Kelly was arrested at his home and admitted in garda interview that his role was to mix and blend the cocaine for distribution. He said he was holding the heroin.
He told officers he had agreed to get involved in order to pay off a €10,000 debt that he had run up when other drugs he had been responsible for went missing.
Gda Noone agreed with Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, that although Kelly had been entrusted with holding a large amount of drugs, the other man in his house at the time was “higher up the chain”.
He accepted that it was suggested to Kelly during garda interview that he was “a decent young lad who was way over his head”.
Gda Noone further accepted that Kelly has not come to garda attention since and immediately expressed regret for his involvement in the offence.
Judge Martin Nolan said Kelly had involved himself with “pretty unsavoury characters as he felt he had an obligation to them”.
He accepted it was a once-off event that is unlikely to be repeated before he sentenced Kelly to five years in prison.