Thursday 19 July 2018

Drug dealer caught with €159K of heroin, cocaine and cannabis jailed for five years

Stock photo: Getty
Stock photo: Getty

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A “mid-level” Dublin drug dealer who was caught with €159,000 of heroin, cocaine and cannabis has been jailed for five years.

Darren Ward (35) of The Wood, Millbrook Lawns, Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing 525g of heroin worth €73,626; 881g of cocaine valued at €61,000; and 244g of cannabis at €5,000 in a car at Deerpark Square, Kiltipper, Tallaght on July 10, 2015.

A further €10,600 of cocaine was found in the Honda Accord vehicle he had been driving on arrest and €8,000 of the drug was found on a male with whom he'd been observed in a transaction.

Ward has 24 previous convictions, including possessing drugs for sale or supply.

Detective Garda Liam Brennan said Ward told colleagues that he had gotten involved in the operation due to a large drug debt and a threat on his life.

Judge Martin Nolan today noted that Ward had “a pivotal role in this drug dealing network”, though he was not at the highest end of the hierarchy.

The judge said Ward was at “mid-level” as he had customers and was distributing drugs, rather than holding them.

Det Gda Brennan told Monika Leech BL, prosecuting, that he and colleagues had set up a surveillance operation on the sale and supply of drugs in the Dublin 24 area.

Gardai followed Ward in his vehicle from Deerpark Square to Walkinstown Green, Walkinstown. Here a male got into the car with Ward and alighted minutes later.

Det Gda Brennan said this male was stopped and found with €8,000 of cocaine on his person.

Gardai intercepted Ward and found €1,100 cash on him and €10,600 of cocaine in his vehicle's glove compartment. Two tick lists and keys to the car at Deerpark Square were also discovered in this search.

In the second car, gardai found a weighing scales in the footwell and the rest of the drugs haul in a concealed compartment between the rear seat and the boot.

The cocaine, heroin and cannabis were found in various bags and tubs, along with plastic wrappings and coins.

Det Gda Brennan said Ward made full admissions during interview, accepted there was an extra panel on the car to conceal drugs and revealed there had been a threat on his life.

He said Ward's drug debt had started seven years previously.

The detective agreed with Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC, defending, that his client had not come to adverse garda attention since and that he was working hard to get over his drug addiction.

Mr O Lideadha asked Judge Nolan to be lenient on his client, taking into account that he made full admissions and had made efforts to get off drugs and stay on the right path.

Counsel submitted that while the offence was not at the lowest level on the scale, it was also not at the highest.

Judge Nolan noted Ward's previous conviction for a drugs offence and said he had to impose a “reasonably severe” custodial sentence due to his serious involvement in the drugs operation.

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