Man who agreed to transport cocaine to Cork to pay off loan shark jailed for three years
A man who agreed to transport almost a kilogramme of cocaine to Cork has been jailed for three years along with an accomplice who had been holding the drugs for two days.
William O’Shea (30) of Dunmore Gardens, Knocknaheeney in Cork and Mark Hayden (43) of the North Circular Road, Dublin both pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cocaine for sale or supply on April 6, 2014.
O’Shea has no previous convictions, while Hayden has one for a public order offence.
Judge Martin Nolan accepted that both men had a good work history and work ethic, had co-operated with the gardaí and had made admissions.
He said the men “committed a misjudgement” and involved themselves in a reasonably large amount of cocaine for their “own particular reasons” before he jailed them for three years.
Detective Garda Val Russell told Cathleen Noctor BL, prosecuting that gardaí had the Skylon Hotel, in Dublin under surveillance following a tip off. They saw O’Shea leave and get into a car Hayden had pulled up in.
O’Shea then got out of the vehicle carrying a bag he had not had earlier and returned to the hotel.
Gardaí moved in and searched Hayden, O’Shea and the vehicle. The cocaine, worth €68,740, was found in the bag O’Shea had with him, while nothing was found in the car.
Both were arrested and Hayden later told gardaí he had been in a pub when “a fella” asked him if he would collect a package and deliver it for €1,000. He said he was to get a phone call to pick it up and a call to tell him where and when to drop it.
He acknowledged that he knew it would be illegal and said that he had collected the drugs two days previously.
O’Shea told gardaí he had been in Dublin at a concert when he got a call asking him if he would collect something and bring it back to Cork. He said he knew it was drugs and he had a recollection of being told it was “a box of coke”.
O’Shea said he was told he would be “sorted” for his role. He had an outstanding loan of €1,400 and he agreed to do it. He said he was too afraid for his family to name anyone else involved.
Det Gda Russell agreed with Tara Burns SC, defending Hayden, that he told gardaí he had fallen behind in rent and owed money to loan sharks due to his gambling and alcohol addictions.
He agreed he was co-operative and accepted responsibility for the drugs.
Det Gda Russell agreed with Caroline Biggs SC, defending O’Shea, that he had no history of drug dealing and had never been involved in distribution prior to this.
He accepted that O’Shea was not the target of the operation and in his experience his involvement in the operation was unusual.
Det Gda Russell further accepted that O’Shea was unlikely to re-offend and his involvement had “a catastrophic impact on him and his family”.