A construction worker has been convicted of having cannabis resin valued almost €700,000 for sale or supply.
David Kavanagh (aged 32) with an address at Gerardstown Wood, Santry was arrested in the course of a garda surveillance operation targeting a major north city criminal drugs gang.
Kavanagh, a father of one, was found guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of having the cannabis for sale or supply on February 16, 2005.
He had denied the charge in the five-day trial and the jury returned its 10-2 majority verdict following more than three hours deliberation.
Judge Patricia Ryan remanded him in custody for sentence later and thanked the nine women and three men of the jury for their care and attention to the case.
Kavanagh was arrested after Detective Gardaí Sean Brennan and Grainne McCormack and other members of the surveillance operation observed him get into a Ford Transit Van at Fastfit Exhaust Centre on Coolock Lane.
He was followed while he drove to his apartment where gardaí observed him bringing two boxes from the van into the premises.
Armed gardaí confronted him after he came back to the van and as he was bending over 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.
Kavanagh claimed when interviewed that he brought two boxes of shoes into the house because he had intended to take one pair of "runners" for himself and he had "no idea" the other boxes contained cannabis.
He told Det Gdi Maurice Ward and Jim McGovern that "for an easy €500" he agreed to drive the van to Blanchardstown. He said he was told the "shoes" had been stolen but was not told where from and did not ask.
Kavanagh said he could not name the person or persons who hired him for fear of his life and the safety of his family. "If you hang these people, you get hanged by them yourself."
He denied he was protecting the person or persons who hired him and said: "I’m protecting myself."
He repeatedly denied garda assertions that he was aware he was involved in drugs. He said he only got involved in moving what he was told was stolen footwear "as I thought it was the easiest €500 I would get".
Kavanagh told the gardaí that when he collected the van he thought there was "something dopey" going on and he became suspicious at the way one of the men involved moved with his hand over his face.
"I was worried from the start for moving stolen goods but I just wanted to make a quick buck," he said. "It was the biggest mistake I ever made."