Car left smoking after flight from gardaí

Smoke rose from a car after a 10-mile drive to get away from gardaí and when it came to halt at a roadblock over €56,000 worth of cannabis and cocaine were found in the car.

The driver, Martin Scannell, of 31 Liam Healy Rd, Farranree, Cork, was jailed for six years with half of it suspended yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Det Sgt Lar O’Brien said Scannell claimed he had travelled from Cork to Portlaoise — under orders from other parties — to pick up the bag of drugs and bring it to Cork for €1,000.

Det Sgt O’Brien said gardaí received information of a car en route to Cork with a large consignment of drugs on November 6 last year.

The car was seen travelling towards Cork in the Mitchelstown area, leaving the motorway for Fermoy and heading to Ballhooley. Then “it was driven at high speed and erratically” toward Glenville. “It was obviously trying to get away from gardaí... A roadblock was set up in Glenville where he had to stop. Smoke was coming from the vehicle due to the speed at which it was driven.”

Scannell later told gardaí he had been hoping to get far enough ahead of the gardaí to throw the drugs out of the car. He also said that he did not know he was being pursued by gardaí and believed at the time someone was trying to rob him.

Brendan Kelly, defending, said the man had taken steps to address addiction issues and accepted responsibility for his involvement.

Judge David Riordan said: “I am told Mr Scannell was effectively a courier, going to collect drugs for the purpose of payment. His involvement has not been put higher than that. It is of concern. The supply of drugs if not stopped would get into the market and cause social difficulties. He was caught red-handed and the plea of guilty must be seen in that context.”


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