‘Storeman’ for drugs gang jailed for five years

A professional Limerick courier who acted as a ‘storeman’ for a drugs gang in order to pay off gambling debts was yesterday jailed for five years at Limerick Circuit Court.

John Ryan, aged 45, of Airfield Terrace, St Patrick’s Rd, pleaded guilty to having drugs worth almost €920,000 for sale or supply.

The drugs included heroin, cocaine, and cannabis, and were discovered by gardaí when they raided Ryan’s rented apartment at Belfield House on the Ennis Rd.

Ryan admitted to illegally having a Walter pistol, a revolver, balaclavas, and 32 rounds of ammunition at the apartment. He had been working for a professional courier company.

Sgt Sandra Heelan of the Limerick divisional drugs squad said that on May 14, 2011, gardaí raided Belfield House.

Ryan had rented the apartment in Aug 2010, having embarked on the drugs operation to pay off a €10,000 gambling debt.

As well as storing and mixing drugs, Ryan was also involved in bringing some of the drugs from Cork and dropping them off at various locations.

Gardaí accepted that Ryan was in fear of those he was working for.

Andrew Sexton, defending, said Ryan had never before come under the notice of gardaí and had no previous convictions.

Judge Carroll Moran said he accepted Ryan was a storeman for the gang and was at the lowest rung of the ladder.

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