A man with several previous drug-dealing convictions discarded a bag of white powder when gardaí approached to search him in Cork City. The powder, recovered by officers, was forensically tested and found to be cocaine.
Yesterday, the man was sentenced to six months in jail.
James Casey, of 4 St Michael’s Lawn, Mahon, pleaded guilty to possession of the cocaine for his own use and the more serious charge of having the illegal drug for the purpose of sale or supply to others.
The discarded drug consisted of four wraps of cocaine. Casey said he bought it “to go halves” with an unnamed friend.
Sgt John Kelleher saidCasey had 11 convictions for having drugs for his own use and seven for having drugs for sale or supply.
He told the court: “On May 5, 2018, at 7.45pm, Garda Vinnie McCarthy was on mobile patrol with Sgt Michael Kiely at Church Rd, Blackrock, when he observed James Casey acting suspiciously, watching gardaí as they passed in the patrol car.
“Gardaí exited the patrol car and, as a search was about to be conducted, James Casey placed his right hand into his pants pocket and discarded a black package a few feet away from himself. Sgt Kiely picked up the package which contained four individual wraps of white powder, suspected to be cocaine. Following caution, James Casey stated that he had bought the cocaine for €100 ‘to go halves’ with an unnamed friend.”
Solicitor Eddie Burke said: “The State would accept he was going to share this with a friend. There was no tick list, no phone calls [related to drugs] and it is his own admission that brings him into this category. He is in a relationship... He got addicted to cannabis and more recently to cocaine.”
Judge Olann Kelleher said the difficulty for Casey was the extent of his previous convictions, even though the valuation of the cocaine on this occasion was not high. Casey put it at €100. The State contended it had a street value of €400.