An opium dealer who was caught with €8,200 worth of the drug in Cork city in 2018 fled the country but was escorted back to Ireland by gardaí from Madrid on a European arrest warrant.
Detective Garda Michael Walsh testified at Cork District Court that Daniel Perez-Mas, who is originally from Valencia in Spain, was arrested by authorities in Madrid on foot of the European arrest warrant.
Gardaí were notified that Perez-Mas was in custody and they travelled out to bring him back to Ireland and to his appearance now at Cork District Court.
The evidence was that the drug was opium. The charge sheets referred to the drug as morphine.
Daniel Perez-Mas pleaded guilty to charges of possessing the drug at Belgrave Place, off Wellington Road, Cork, on October 27, 2018.
The 34-year-old also admitted having the drug for the purpose of selling or otherwise supplying to others on that date.
Det. Garda Walsh told Judge Olann Kelleher that the defendant was charged and given station bail in October 2018, following which he fled the country. He was arrested in recent days in Madrid on the European arrest warrant and escorted back to Ireland by gardaí.
Diane Hallahan, solicitor, said the accused man was working part time in Cork at the time and later worked in strawberry fields in France.
“He panicked unfortunately in 2018 and fled,” Ms Hallahan said.
Judge Olann Kelleher commented on the suggestion of panic and said the accused had three years to think about it and come back to face the charges but failed to do so.
The judge sentenced Perez-Mas to nine months in prison.
Should the accused man wish to appeal the sentence, recognisances were set at €750 cash and an independent surety of €750. Ms Hallahan said the defendant’s present circumstances were dire.