Saturday 22 October 2016

Man who agreed to transport prescription medication to pay off drug debt to be sentenced

Sonya McLean

Published 12/04/2016 | 16:32

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A man who agreed to transport boxes of prescription medication in order to pay off a drug debt will be sentenced next June.

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Alan McDermott (54) was caught with 149,352 of Zopliclone tablets which are used to treat extreme insomnia. The drug is not illegal but people in possession of them need a license to sell prescription medication.

McDermott of Clonliffe Avenue, Clonliffe Road, Dublin pleaded guilty to keeping for supply a substance without a medical prescription on Philipsburgh Avenue on August 16, 2014. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Melanie Greally adjourned sentencing until June 10, next. She ordered a community service report for that date.

Garda Brian Foran told Fionnuala O'Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that gardaí had the Drumcondra area under surveillance following a tip off and spotted McDermott driving into the carpark of the Regency Hotel.

He reversed his car towards the back of another vehicle before both drivers opened their rear doors and a number of boxes were placed in the back of McDermott's vehicle. Both vehicles then left in convoy.

McDermott was stopped on Philipsburgh Avenue and a number of boxes were found in the back of his van. The drugs discovered within those boxes had a value of €298,704 if sold on the black market.

McDermott told gardaí in interview that he had agreed to get involved in order to pay off a drug debt. He was to park the van outside a cafe in Marino and leave the doors unlocked.

He was told to go off and have a pint and he presumed that when he would come back the boxes would have been moved.

He said he didn't know what was in the boxes. “I never asked. I just wanted to pay off a debt. I was told I had nothing to worry about,” McDermott told gardaí.

Garda Foran agreed with Tony McGillicuddy BL, defending, that his client had a specific role and that he didn't realise the gravity of what he was getting involved in.

Mr McGillicuddy said McDermott made a “dreadful decision” and didn't realise the seriousness of his actions. His conviction had brought him shame and embarrassment, counsel told Judge Greally.

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