THE Special Criminal Court trial of Dublin criminal Brian Rattigan has heard expert evidence of the distribution weights and street names associated with heroin, including slang such as "nasty" and "the bad thing".
Detective Sergeant Brian Robertson, of the Garda National Drug Unit, gave evidence on day seven of the non-jury trial of Rattigan (31), who has pleaded not guilty to the possession of heroin and two counts of possession of the drug for sale or supply on Hughes Road South, Walkinstown, Dublin on May 21, 2008.
Rattigan, with a last address at Cooley Road, Drimnagh, has also pleaded not guilty to the possession of two mobile phones in Portlaoise Prison while he was an inmate on May 22, 2008.
Det Sgt Robertson told prosecution counsel Mr Sean Guerin BL that he worked for the Garda National Drug Unit for 15 years.
He said a text message printed out from an analysis of a phone found along with five kilos of heroin in a shed at the back of the house on Hughes Road South, which spoke of "half-bars," "boxes" and "9" being allocated to names such as "Gangko" "McGyver" "Peck" and "Crazy" referred to the division of drugs by weight.
Det Sgt Robertson said that a "box" meant one kilo, a "9" meant nine ounces and a half-bar was in relation to four-and-a-half ounces.
Mr Guerin also read to the witness a message sent to a number associated with one of the phones found in Portlaoise, which asked: "Can you give me half a box of the bad thing for 13 I am waiting on a few bob I could sort you out."
Det Sgt Robertson said it was "quite clear" to him that the message was a request for half-a-kilo of heroin in return for €13,000, as heroin was referred to as "the bad thing" due to its known attributes and nature.
Det Sgt Robertson agreed with counsel for the defence, Mr Brendan Grehan SC, that the text messages may refer equally refer to the break-up of something else other than heroin and could be evidence of "fantasy drug-dealing".
Det Sgt Robertson could not refer Mr Grehan to any source where heroin was translated as "dark", but said that in his experience of controlled heroin purchases "dark" was very common phraseology.
He told Mr Guerin that the market value of heroin on the May 21, 2008 was €200 per gramme, meaning the total value of the drugs seized by gardai was €1,000,257.
The trial continues.