Saturday 24 February 2018

Cavan father jailed after he transported €250,000 between criminal gangs

Ben Haugh

A CAVAN father of four who agreed to transport more than €250,000 between criminal gangs in Dublin and Holland has been sentenced to three years.

Paul Grassick (39) of Keenagh, Ballyjamesduff, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to knowingly possessing cash from the proceeds of crime at Lucan Road, Palmerstown on June 6, 2011.

The court heard Grassick, who worked as a haulier, is one of the first people to be jailed under new legislation dealing with proceeds of crime.

Detective Garda William Armstrong told Paul Carroll BL, prosecuting, that a van driven by Grassick had been under surveillance by the Garda National Drugs Unit.

Det Gda Armstrong said he saw Grassick moving a bag from another van into his own before driving off towards Blanchardstown.

The vehicle was stopped by gardai and two bags containing cash totalling €262,520 were found.

The first bag had €172,640 inside, the second contained €89,880.

Grassick also had €2,000 on his person.

During the first garda interview, Grassick denied any knowledge of what was in the bags or how they got into the van.

He later changed his story and said he was transporting the cash between criminal gangs in Dublin and Holland.

He said he was given the cash along with a mobile phone and a contact number and was going to transport the cash by ferry.

“I didn’t know what it was going to pay for, but I knew it was going to Holland,” he said.

Grassick admitted that the money was probably going to be used for something illegal.

He said he agreed to transfer the money because of mounting credit card bills and mortgage payments.

He said he was going to be paid €500 for the smaller package but didn’t know how much he would get paid for the larger one.

Det Gda Armstrong told Felix McEnroy SC, defending, that he doesn’t think Grassick will reoffend. The detective agreed that Grassick was genuinely remorseful for his actions.

Grassick has four children, one of whom is severely autistic, and his wife acts as a full time carer. He was let go from his job as a result of the charges against him, but a previous employer has agreed to re-hire him.

Mr McEnroy said his client was “reckless in his behaviour” and “incredibly remorseful about what he was done.”

Judge Patrick McCartan said this was one of the first cases falling under “long overdue legislation” which deals with the proceeds of crime.

He said the case involved “a vast sum of money to be moved from one criminal gang here to another in Holland and it was done for gain.” However, he accepted that it was “ill thought out” and treated the crime as a first offence.

The judge sentenced Grassick to three years, but suspended the final 18 months.

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