Plainclothes gardaí talking to three men in Cork City centre were interrupted by the arrival of another man offering the anxiety tablets Alprazolam.
Adrian Bowen of 20 St Mary’s Avenue, Gurranabraher, Cork, has now pleaded guilty to possession of the tablets for sale or supply.
Sergeant Gearóid Davis said at Cork District Court that gardaí in plainclothes were talking to the three men at Dominic Street, Cork, when Bowen arrived. “He was talking about providing Alprazolam tablets. One of the guards identified himself and the tablets were confiscated,” Sgt Davis said.
At the time, the defendant admitted providing another man with the tablets but not selling them.
Sgt Davis said Bowen had three previous convictions for having drugs for his own use.
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said Bowen was not a person of interest to the gardaí when he arrived on the scene.
Mr Buttimer said that, in effect, it was a blister-pack of tablets which the accused acquired legitimately by prescription although he did not furnish gardaí with the prescription.
The solicitor said:
"All of this occurred in the presence of and within the view of the guards. He was entitled to possess them. He was on medication.
“He was fully co-operative with the guards in this extremely limited offence.
“He is now free of substances. He went to Bruree (drug treatment centre) and he is drug-free. He has a job in construction and a reference. He is not presently working due to the lockdown,” Mr Buttimer said.
Judge Olann Kelleher said: “I will take into consideration what is being said but the offence carries a sentence of 12 months. He pleaded to sale or supply – albeit at a lower end of the league.”
The judge imposed a five-month suspended sentence on Bowen.