Lorry drivers charged in connection with €2.5m Dublin cocaine seizure

Searches resulted in the seizure of a quantity of cocaine with an estimated street value of €2.5m.
Lorry drivers charged in connection with €2.5m Dublin cocaine seizure

Two lorry drivers have been charged in connection with a “handover” of €2.5m worth of cocaine in north Co Dublin at the weekend.

They were allegedly caught “red-handed” following surveillance by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB).

Three vehicles were stopped in the Blakes Cross area on Saturday afternoon. Searches resulted in the seizure of a quantity of cocaine with an estimated street value of €2.5m.

Three men were arrested at the scene and detained, under the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996, at Swords and Store Street Garda stations in Dublin.

Charles Coyle, 58, from Boug, Cootehill, Co. Cavan and Dimitrijs Verskovics, 44, with an address at Neretas Novads, Elkselksnltos, LV5118, in Latvia appeared before Judge Gerard Jones at Dublin District Court today.

Both have been charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act with unlawful possession of cocaine and possessing it with intent to sell or supply.

Solicitor Fiona D'Arcy, for Mr Coyle, said her client was applying for bail but there was an objection from GNDOCB Detective Michael Ormond.

He said Mr Coyle made no reply when charged at Swords station.

He told the court there was CCTV evidence and surveillance. It was alleged Mr Coyle was the driver of a truck who took possession of cocaine from the co-accused. He said the accused has been living outside the jurisdiction in a rented address in the North for the past five or six years.

Mr Coyle was allegedly caught “red-handed”, and he believed the man was a flight risk, the court heard.

He agreed with Ms D’Arcy that Mr Coyle has said he can live with his family in Co Cavan and he had never taken a warrant before.

Detective Ormond told the court he was instructed Mr Coyle was not welcome at that address.

Ms D’Arcy said her client has never been before the court before and she argued that he was entitled to bail, and presumed innocent.

She had spoken to his brother and she said her client was welcome at the family home.

He was of limited means but hoped that €3,000 would be made available.

Judge Jones granted bail in Mr Coyle’s own bond of €100 but required a €25,000 independent surety.

Once a bail-person has been approved, he must sign on three days a week at Carrickmacross Garda station, cancel his passport which he claimed was lost and be contactable at all times on a mobile phone number that must provide to gardaí.

Mr Coyle, who was granted legal aid, did not address the court. Dressed in a checked shirt and jeans, and wearing a protective face-mask, he has not yet indicated how he will plead.

Remanded in custody

He was remanded in custody with consent to bail to appear at a Cloverhill District Court on Friday.

Co-accused, Dimitrijs Verskovics, did not apply for bail.

His solicitor, Michael French said an application will be made at his next hearing.

Detective Redmond O’Leary said there will be an objection.

The accused, who listened to the proceedings with the aid of a Russian interpreter, lived in Latvia, Judge Jones was told.

Detective O’Leary said a planned operation was in place by the GNDOCB. He alleged Mr Verskovics was the driver of one truck who handed over drugs from one vehicle to another.

The court heard Mr Verskovics made no reply when charged at Store Street garda station.

He was granted legal aid and remanded in custody and will also appear at Cloverhill District Court on Friday for a bail hearing.

A third man, who is in his 40s, has been released without charge, with a file now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

- This story was updated at 14.50

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