Cork garda disputes 'career drug dealer' is a changed man

The accused has pleaded guilty to having €2,000 worth of cannabis for sale or supply in Bandon
Cork garda disputes 'career drug dealer' is a changed man

The 34-year-old had three previous convictions for drug-dealing, 27 for having drugs for his own use, two for allowing his home to be used for the preparation of drugs and one for cultivating cannabis. File photo: Getty

A West Cork drug dealer has changed his ways it was claimed by his lawyer but a local detective wholeheartedly disagreed.

Ivo Santos of O’Mahony Avenue, Bandon, County Cork, faced sentencing yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court for his latest count of having cannabis for sale or supply.

The 34-year-old had three previous convictions for drug-dealing. He was convicted 27 times for having drugs for his own use, twice for allowing his home to be used for the preparation of drugs and once for cultivating cannabis.

Now he has pleaded guilty to having €2,000 worth of cannabis for sale or supply at O’Mahony Avenue in Bandon on July 11, 2019.

Detective Garda Colin O’Mahony said the accused was stopped at 6pm on that date carrying a rucksack on his back.

“When approached by gardaí he became nervous, unsettled and agitated and attempted to escape from gardaí,” Det. Garda O’Mahony said.

As well as the two packets containing a total of €2,000 worth of cannabis, Santos also had the broken butt of a pool cue in his bag and a mobile phone.

When first interviewed he made no comment to gardaí.

The detective described Santos as “Irish Portuguese and living in Bandon most of his life. 

He is a career drug dealer involved in drug-dealing in West Cork for many years. He continues to be a person of interest to gardaí.

Peter O’Flynn defence barrister suggested the detective was basing his opinion on the defendant’s past record rather than his present life and that he is now a changed man. Det. Garda O’Mahony responded to that suggestion saying: “I would reject that wholeheartedly.” 

Mr O’Flynn BL said: “His parents were drug users and were tolerant of him smoking cannabis and all of his peers in Bandon smoked cannabis. He has changed himself in the last number of years.” Again the detective said: “I would reject that. I would not accept he has changed his ways.” 

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that there was clearly a difference of opinion between the prosecution and the defence on the question of whether the defendant had put his past behind him or not.

Rather than finalising the case the judge said he would adjourn sentencing until September 20 to give the accused an opportunity to have regular urinalysis. Ivo Santos was remanded on bail for the next three months.

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