An international courier company’s tracking system uncovered a sophisticated drugs trail stretching through the Netherlands, Germany, England, and the North to a rural cottage in Co Limerick, a court heard.
Two Limerick men, Shane Ferguson, aged 46, of Meadowbrook, Mill Rd, Corbally, and Kieran Nevin, age 37, of Oliver Plunkett St, St Mary’s Park, both pleaded guilty yesterday at Limerick Circuit Court to having cannabis valued at just over €1m for sale or supply at Lisnagry on May 25, 2012. Both men owed money and brought the drugs to Limerick for unnamed persons as an easy way of paying off debts.
Det Garda Paul Crowley outlined the European network uncovered by gardaí and Interpol during the investigation.
He also outlined details of a surveillance operation centred on the cottage said that on May 25, 2012, Ferguson left Limerick in a rented van. He travelled on motorways and at one point his van was followed by a 4x4. The driver of the 4x4 drove alongside and nodded.
Ferguson followed him to an address at Points Pass, Newry. On arrival, Ferguson loaded five boxes into the van and tore off signage which carried the van hire company’s name. He drove back toward Limerick and met with Nevin who was in a car, near Ahane National School. They swapped vehicles and Nevin drove the van to Lisnagry and moved the boxes from the van to the building.
Both men were intercepted and on searching the cottage with a warrant, gardaí found the boxes which contained the drugs.
Det Garda Crowley said an international courier company, UPS, was used by the drugs gang.
UPS tracking numbers on the internet showed the journey of the boxes started out at 9.23am on May 24 from Eindhoven in the Netherlands. They were then tracked at Cologne in Germany, before arriving at Castledonnington airport in Britain from where they were brought to an address in Points Pass, Newry.
On searching the house in Newry, following the interception of the drugs in Limerick, the PSNI found five empty boxes similar to the ones used to bring the drugs to Limerick. Strips with the van hire company name used by Ferguson were found in a bin.
Judge Carroll Moran adjourned sentence to Jan 17 next.
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