A bag containing almost €20,000 worth of cannabis was bundled out of a speeding car on a country road and when gardaí arrested the two Fermoy men after the chase they blamed each other for the drugs.
The two men stood side by side in the dock at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday where Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said the garda evidence, probation report, and other background factors differentiated significantly between the two.
Nathan Mahon, aged 22, of 34 Rathowen Estate, Fermoy, Co Cork, was sentenced to five years with the last two years suspended.
Ryan Sexton, aged 20, of 110 Beechfield Estate, Fermoy, was given to five years, with all of it suspended.
Both admitted having more than €13,000 worth of cannabis for sale or supply at Mount Rivers, Fermoy, on September 22, 2016.
Detective Garda Dave Moynihan testified that on that date an off-duty garda, Peter O’Loughlin, saw them rummaging through a hedgerow, apparently looking for something.
Garda O’Loughlin recognised Nathan Mahon and knew he had been convicted for drug-dealing.
Mahon had previously got community service for having €200 of cannabis for sale or supply. The off-duty guard notified his colleagues, who encountered the car used by the two men.
Gardaí followed them and the car sped off. Officers observed a package being discharged from the car. The guards caught up with the two men and arrested them. They later returned to the scene and seized the drugs, which were in a hold-all bag.
“Nathan Mahon was interviewed and denied any involvement in drug activity,” said Det Garda Moynihan.
“Sexton gave an account of being aware of drugs in the vehicle and that his participation was only as the driver, that this was his only involvement, and that Mahon was to pay him.”
The probation service described Sexton as a low risk of re-offending. James O’Mahony, SC, said the accused was otherwise of good character and in employment. He said the accused had turned himself around after a period when he was dabbling in cannabis and cocaine.
Elizabeth O’Connell SC for Mahon said the accused was only 20 at the time and that a trial had been avoided by the plea of guilty entered.
Judge Ó Donnbháin said after hearing the evidence of Det Garda Moynihan: “You are seeking to differentiate between the two of them substantially.”
The detective said he was.
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