Father-of-one caught with over €44,000 worth of drugs after house was burgled

By Sonya McLean

A Dublin father-of-one will be sentenced next October after he was caught with over €44,000 worth of drugs when his landlady reported that her home had been burgled.

Ryan Callaghan (25), of Lough Conn Avenue, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to having the drugs for sale or supply at a rented property on July 31, 2015.

Dublin Criminal Courts of Justice 2 October 2016

He has two previous convictions for minor road traffic offences.

Garda Owen Sheehan told James Dwyer BL, prosecuting, that gardai were alerted to the fact that the house, in Palmerstown, had been burgled and arrived to find that Callaghan’s room was the only one that had been ransacked.

When officers found drug paraphernalia, they left to secure a warrant to search the bedroom and subsequently discovered €6 worth of prescription medication, €24,103 worth of heroin, €16 worth of cannabis resin, €14,746 worth of cannabis herb and €5,348 worth of cocaine.

Gardai also seized six mobile phones, a weighing scales, surgical gloves and plastic cut-offs.

Garda Sheehan said they were informed that Callaghan rented the room and then they went to his girlfriend’s home to bring him in for questioning. Callaghan later made no admissions in interview.

The court heard that a number of text messages suggestive of drug-dealing were found on one of the mobile phones.

Callaghan later got permission to return to the house in Palmerstown to get back some of his property, but when he was searched, having left the house, he had nothing with him.

Garda Sheehan agreed with Michael Bowman SC, defending, that when officers arrived at the house there was a strong smell of cannabis.

He accepted that it was “a strange scene” in Callaghan’s bedroom, in that although it had been ransacked, the drugs and drug paraphernalia were laid out on top of an overturned mattress.

Garda Sheehan further accepted that Callaghan came from “a very decent background” and no member of his family has even been in trouble.

He also accepted that Callaghan’s father paid off €10,000 to some people who came to his home claiming that his son not only owed them a drug debt but also owed them for the drugs lost during the garda seizure.

Garda Sheehan agreed that Callaghan didn’t have “a lavish lifestyle”.

Mr Bowman said his client’s father, put Callaghan out of the family home, when he realised he was getting into drugs.

Counsel said the father now believes that this was a big mistake because he had effectively put his son in the hands of these people.

Mr Bowman told Judge Karen O’Connor that his client found himself in debt and agreed to hold this bag of drugs.

He said there was nothing to forensically link him to the drugs or anything in the bag.

Judge O’Connor said the text messages on the phone suggests that Callaghan was doing more than holding a bag.

Counsel said that his client never touched the bag and the phones seized by gardai had been in that bag.

He said it was his instruction that Callaghan was “not responsible” for the text message.

“He had a drug difficulty that sucked him into this,” Mr Bowman said before he asked for an adjournment to allow his client to be further assessed by The Probation Service.

Judge O’Connor remanded Callaghan on continuing bail and adjourned sentencing to October 8 next.

She ordered an updated probation report for that date.

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