Sunday 18 February 2018

Men caught with €120,000 of cocaine as they moved into a relative’s attic

Declan Brennan

Two men who were involved with the cutting up and bagging of over €120,000 worth of cocaine have been jailed.

Brian Rigney (34 ) and John Halpin (33) were moving the drugs into the attic of Rigney’s sister’s house when gardai raided the home.

Rigney of Fortlawn Avenue and Halpin of Whitestown Avenue, both in Blanchardstown, Dublin pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at Fortlawn Avenue on December 9, 2011.

Rigney also pleaded guilty to possession of €3,000 worth of cocaine for sale or supply at Cherryfield View, Hartstown on August 12, 2011.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that when gardai went into the house on Fortlawn Avenue, Halpin was standing on a ladder shining a light into the attic and Rigney was in the attic.

Garda Anthony Keating told Noel Devitt BL, prosecuting, that gardai found 14 packages of cocaine with an estimated street value of €120,063. They also found a metal compress, a scales and bagging material.

Judge Martin Nolan said they were both involved in the onward distribution of the drugs but that Rigney was more involved. He said their previous addiction problems had left them with debts to “unsavoury characters”.

He jailed Halpin for two and a half years and Rigney for four and a half years.

Seamus Clarke BL, defending Halpin, said that this offence had acted as a wake up call for his client.

Counsel said Halpin, who has a young son, came from a decent family and has since turned his life around.

Caroline Biggs SC, defending Rigney said her client was on the lowest rung of the drug dealing ladder.

She said that Rigney was scared of certain people and that after his arrest there was an unpleasant shooting incident when he refused to pay them for the seized drugs.

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