A man caught importing 50kg of cocaine mixing agent has escaped jail with a suspended sentence.
Paul Carthy (34) had tried to convince gardaí that the Benzocaine was going to be used as horse tranquilliser.
The two consignments of the drug, which serves as a local anaesthetic, were intercepted by Customs at a Fedex warehouse in Dublin.
Gardaí traced the delivery to Carthy, who claimed he had no idea it could be used to mix cocaine and that he believed it was going to be used to treat horses.
When gardai put it to him that “even JP McManus wouldn’t need 50kg of horse tranquilliser”, Carthy had no answer.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring handed down a suspended sentence of two and half years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court and commented that the case “was just another example of the many roles required for drugs supply.”
Carthy, of Donaghmede Avenue, Kilbarrack pleaded guilty to possession of an instrument for the production of drugs at a storage facility in Fingal on April 19, 2012. The Benzocaine was estimated to be worth €50,000 and can be used to bulk out cocaine by up to 500pc.
Detective Garda Damien O’Farrell told prosecuting counsel James Dwyer BL that a 25kg package of the substance was examined by a customs officer in Fedex in Swords. A similar package arrived the next day and was also examined.
Gardai carried out an undercover delivery to the storage facility the boxes were addressed to where they saw Carthy load them into a car and drive away.
He was arrested and claimed in interview that he was paid €100 to pick up the boxes and leave them in the dressing rooms of a Dublin football club.
Defence counsel Remy Farrell SC said Carthy is “well down the food chain” and was homeless at the time. He added he should be given credit for a very early guilty plea.
Carthy has seven previous convictions for minor road traffic offences.
Judge Ring noted that Carthy had “effectively hit rock bottom” at time of the offence and was taking a considerable risk for a very small sum in return.
She suspended the sentence on condition that Carthy keep the peace and be of good behaviour for two and half years and undergo the supervision of probation and welfare services for 12 months.