A Dublin man has received a nine-year sentence with two years suspended for possessing drugs totalling more than €250,000 in separate incidents.
Gardaí with confidential information stopped John Crowe’s car at Swords and seized 3.5kg of cocaine in a schoolbag in August 2007.
Crowe (aged 26) of Dundaniel Road, Kilmore West, Dublin 5, denied he owned the drugs but said he knew he was acting illegally by transporting the cache.
He pleaded guilty to possessing €243,803 of cocaine in his car on August 10, 2007 and a further €6,862 of cannabis resin near his home on September 22, 2008.
Garda Edel O’Sullivan told Mr Dominic McGinn BL, prosecuting at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, that Crowe was on bail for the more serious offence when she caught him with 980g of cannabis resin in a white plastic bag 13 months later.
She said she had noticed Crowe standing with a number of males while on surveillance in the Dundaniel Road area.
She said Crowe ran off towards a house at Cromcastle Park and threw the white bag into an open car bonnet on his way.
Another man closed this bonnet but the drugs and €1,600 cash were subsequently recovered.
Crowe denied possessing the drugs in his garda interviews and claimed he had thrown a single cannabis joint into the bonnet because he got scared when he saw gardaí ahead of his court case.
The garda agreed with Mr John Aylmer SC, defending with Mr Luigi Rea BL, that despite these denials during interview his client had entered an early plea in the matter.
Mr Aylmer submitted to Judge Katherine Delahunt that his client had a €700,000 drug debt and a €15,000 contract on his life around September 2008 because of the earlier cocaine seizure.
Judge Delahunt said she acknowledged Crowe’s early pleas in both matters, his “unblemished record” and good work history prior to the offences.
She noted the “tangible threats” made to him and his family but said he had brought this “awful penalty” on himself by getting involved in the drugs trade.
The judge ordered that Crowe undergo ongoing rehabilitation in custody as directed by the probation and welfare services and remains drug free.