A Dublin man has been jailed for his role in the movement of €778,000 worth of cannabis imported from Spain and hidden under scented candles.
Elliot Kidd (aged 25) of Mabel Street, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing drugs for sale or supply on June 11, 2015.
His co-accused Jonathan Carberry (aged 35) and Gavin Mulvey (aged 35) were jailed last July after they also pleaded guilty to the same offence.
Judge Melanie Greally imposed a sentence of seven years with two suspended on Carberry of Marlfield Green, Tallaght, after noting his previous good character.
She imposed a sentence of three years with the last year suspended on Mulvey of Kiltalown Road, Jobstown, noting that he joined the scheme at the last minute and with no advance knowledge.
Today Kidd was sentenced to five years with the final 18 months suspended on strict conditions including that he engage with the Probation Service for 18 months upon his release and engage with both addiction and mental health services.
Judge Greally said she had taken into account Kidd's plea of guilty, his fragile psychological state at the time of the offence and his motivation for getting involve in the crime.
Carberry, Mulvey and Kidd were unloading the drugs at Bath Lane, Dublin when gardaí swooped and arrested them. A fourth man who was also present got away.
Detective Sergeant Tom Waters told Eilis Brennan BL, prosecuting, that a customs officer with a sniffer dog found the drugs in a warehouse on June 9 last year. About 37.9kg of cannabis herb was packed in pallets under scented candles.
The pallet was eventually picked up by a courier, who knew nothing about its contents. Carberry called the courier and told to meet him at a roundabout, where Mulvey paid him €70 to deliver the goods to Bath Lane.
The four men were in the middle of loading the pallets into two cars when gardaí arrived.
The court heard that Mulvey met his friend Carberry on the morning of the offence and later agreed to join him on the job, paying the courier driver because Carberry was busy at the time.
Bernard Condon SC, defending Carberry, said his client's substantial admissions to gardaí formed a central part of the prosecution case.
He said that the former taxi driver had no previous convictions and had been offered €200 to carry out the job. Carberry, a married father-of-two, did this because he had significant debt, including mortgage arrears. It was a “catastrophic” mistake, he added.
Garnet Orange SC, defending Mulvey, said his client was a childhood friend of Carberry's who was essentially “along for the ride”.
“The evidence would suggest he stumbled on events as they were going along and only became aware of what was happening when events (started) happening,” Mr Orange said.
Mr Orange said Mulvey, a father with a “close, loving family” has no previous convictions.
The court heard Mulvey was still recovering from a “bizarre” accident at home in which he broke his neck. He had only recently started working again as an alarm monitoring supervisor before the offence and gave up his job to avoid embarrassing his employer, Mr Orange said. “That's a sign of his decency,” he said.
Damien Colgan SC, representing Kidd, said his client undertook to get involved in the offence in order to pay €300 off a drug debt. He said Kidd, who has three previous convictions, was a drug addict who lost his job as a locksmith during the recession.
“He thought this was an easy way for him to overcome this debt he had,” Mr Colgan said.