Man accused of picking up almost €700,000 worth of cannabis

A man accused of picking up a van containing almost €700,000 worth of cannabis claimed he thought it held runners rather than drugs Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard.

A man accused of picking up a van containing almost €700,000 worth of cannabis claimed he thought it held runners rather than drugs Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard.

David Kavanagh (aged 32), Gerardstown Wood, Santry has pleaded not guilty to possession of cannabis resin for sale or supply on Santry Avenue on February 16, 2005.

Mr Kavanagh was arrested after a Garda surveillance operation observed him get out of a Fiat Punto and into a Ford Transit Van at Fastfit Exhaust Centre on Coolock Lane.

Detective Garda Sean Brennan, who led the operation told prosecuting counsel, Mr Shane Costelloe BL, they followed Mr Kavanagh where they observed him bringing two boxes from the van into his apartment.

When he came back for a third box, armed gardaí confronted him as he was bending over one of the boxes. When he saw the gardaí he fell backwards out of the van and hit his head on the ground.

Det Gda Brennan said a search of the van revealed three boxes with 90-100 kgs of cannabis valued at €676,825 as well as five boxes of "Ascot" shoes.

Mr Kavanagh was arrested and brought to Santry Garda Station where he claimed in interview he was bringing boxes of shoes into the house and had "no idea" the other boxes contained cannabis.

The trial continues before Judge Patricia Ryan and a jury of nine women and three men.

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