By Fiona Ferguson
A man who attempted to buy a firearm from undercover gardai has been jailed for five years.
Ahmed Ayadi (25) told undercover gardaí that he was involved in the sale of drugs and wanted the firearm “just in case.”
Ayadi of The Lawn, Boden Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of a 9mm calibre Glock semi automatic pistol in suspicious circumstances at the Navan Road, Cabra on May 12, 2016.
He also admitted possession of cannabis valued at €6 at Island Street, Dublin 8 on May 5, 2016.
Detective Garda Colm Tighe told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that gardaí became aware through confidential information that Ayadi was seeking to purchase a firearm.
Gardai put in place a surveillance operation involving the use of audio recording equipment to record meetings with Ayadi. He met with undercover gardaí and told them that he was involved in the sale of drugs and wanted a weapon “just in case.”
He was initially interested in buying a AK47 but thought it was too large after being shown a picture. A Glock pistol was decided upon and he handed over €450 on May 12, 2016. Ayadi's vehicle was then intercepted and he was arrested and interviewed.
The court heard that Ayadi was originally from Tunisia but had grown up in Ireland. He comes from a respectable family and lost his sister in tragic circumstances. He has 21 previous convictions, mainly for road traffic offences.
Judge Karen O'Connor noted testimonials handed into court on Ayadi's behalf. She said Ayadi was a talented footballer and was involved in charity work in his community. She took into account his early guilty plea and remorse but said it was a serious offence.
Judge O'Connor imposed six years imprisonment and suspended the final 12 months. She ordered 12 months probation supervision on his release.