Wednesday 21 February 2018

Man held €100k cannabis to pay off a €25k drugs debt, court told

Criminal Courts of Justice
Criminal Courts of Justice

Nicola Donnelly

A man who became dependant on valium following an accident claimed he was holding over €100,000 worth of cannabis resin to pay off a €25,000 drugs debt.

Jeffery Smith (42) has been sentenced to five years in prison at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for possssion for sale or supply of €108,114 worth of cannabis resin and €1,269 of diazepam on Novemeber 13, 2011.

Smith had the drugs  at his home at Donomore Avenue, Killinarden in Tallaght. He also admitted having two stolen laptops and a stolen iPad in his home on the same date.

Judge Martin Nolan noted that Smith has a modest criminal record and that he had a “serious amount of cannabis and must have known the seriousness of what he was doing.”

“He is a man of mature years and should have known better,” said Judge Nolan.

The father-of-two told gardai he had run up a €25,000 drugs debt after he became addicted to valium following an accident in 2003 where he injured his back. He denied being a drug dealer.

Garda Kieran Kilcoyne told Roisin Lacey BL, prosecuting, that gardai found 18.5 kilos of cannabis resin in a suitcase in the front bedroom. They also found diazepam tablets in plastic tubs.

Two laptops and an iPad that had been stolen from a house in Hazel Grove, Tallaght a month prior were found in the sitting room. Smith told gardai he had bought them “from a fella I know who passes the road.”

He admitted he had “a feeling” the laptops and iPad were stolen but he said he saw it as an opportunity to earn some money before Christmas.

Smith, who has 20 previous convictions, would not tell gardai who he was holding the drugs for as he feared he would be shot, the court heard.

Defence counsel Damien Colgan SC said Smith had “gotten himself involved in a situation way over his head,” and has expressed an interest in training with computers.

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