A 25-year-old man has been given a 12-year sentence by Judge Frank O’Donnell at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for transporting ecstasy with an estimated €2.6m street value.
Jonathan Ducque, aged 25, of Bayview Avenue, Ballybough, was also given a seven-year sentence to run concurrently for armed robbery on a house, which Judge O’Donnell described as being reminiscent of a "Gestapo dawn raid".
Ducque, who was promised €1,000 to act as a courier, pleaded guilty to possession for sale or supply of the ecstasy on June 16, 2003. He also admited the aggravated burglary of the house in Springfield, Tallaght ,on August 26, 2002.
His girlfriend, Ms Liane Hopkins, was visibly upset in court and was abusive with prison officers and journalists as he was escorted away.
Detective Garda Derek Spain told prosecuting counsel Mr Sean Gillane, BL, that gardaí had a surveillance operation in place on Sherriff Street where they they were alerted to the presence of a green Fiat Brava, the boot of which was suspected to contain a large amount of ecstasy tablets.
The vehicle was stopped and searched. Ducque, the only person in the car, was removed from it.
Two black refuse sacks, a black suitcase and the tyre from a jeep were found in the boot.
Det Gda Spain said a total of 174,872 tablets were recovered and identified as ecstasy with an estimated street value of between €2.1m and €2.6m.
Judge O’Donnell noted that the family in Tallaght was sleeping when Ducque and two accomplices entered the house, armed with machetes and a handgun.
They woke the owner, his wife and their four-year-old child, then pointed the gun at the father and threatened to kill his young daughter if he did not hand over the takings from his business.
Ducque and the two men stole in excess of €3,000 and a large amount of jewellery from the family.
Most of the property was recovered by gardaí but goods to the value of €4,600 remain.
Mr Damien Colgan, BL, defending, said that Ducque was desperate for money to pay rent on a house he was sharing with his girlfriend and accepted the offer of €1,000 for transporting the ecstasy .
Mr Colgan said Ducque had a troubled family history and had been in care since he was two years old. He had 40 previous convictions, only one of which was drug-related.