Three years jail for man possessing €500k in cocaine

By Aoife Nic Ardghail & Declan Brennan

A young man who got involved in the drugs trade to raise funds for a garage business has been jailed for three years for possessing almost half a million euro of cocaine.

Evan Dunne was aged 18 when gardai responding to a tip-off stopped him in a van he had bought for cash the previous day.

Criminal Courts of Justice 2 09032017

Detective Garda David McKinley told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that on searching the van gardai found a blue holdall bag with seven individually wrapped packages.

The packages were seized and later identified as blocks of cocaine. The total estimated street value was just over €492,400.

Dunne (20) of Inagh Road, Ballyfermot pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at a car park at Dowdstown, Maynooth, Co Kildare on February 15, 2018.

The court heard Dunne had been on the phone and had seemed panicked when he was pulled over by gardai.

Det Gda McKinley said Dunne had three mobile phones in his possession on arrest. During subsequent interviews Dunne made no admissions.

Lorcan Staines SC, defending, said Dunne’s mother had been addicted to heroin and he was effectively raised by his aunt.

On Monday, Judge Pauline Codd said the value of the drugs was the most serious aggravating factor in the case.

She also stated that there had been some degree of planning as Dunne had purchased the van the previous day.

She noted that Dunne told a probation officer he had committed the offence to obtain funds for his garage business.

The judge said Dunne had shown an insight into his crime and was at low risk of re-offending.

She further noted that he had developed a cocaine addiction from when he was 17-years-old.

Judge Codd outlined positive factors, including Dunne’s employment history, his involvement in boxing and running clubs and his guilty plea.

She imposed a seven-year sentence with the final four suspended for that period.

The judge ordered that Dunne undergo four years’ supervision from the Probation Service and follow all its directions, including victim empathy work and engaging with therapeutic supports.

Judge Codd backdated the sentence to November last year, when Dunne first went into custody.

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