Monday 22 October 2018

Two appear in court in connection with discovery of 'professionally' modified cannabis growhouse

The cannabis plants were discovered by gardai
The cannabis plants were discovered by gardai

Liam Cosgrove

Two men have appeared in court charged in connection with the discovery of ‘professionally’ modified €360,000 cannabis growhouse in Co Longford.

Lithuanian nationals Vaidus Burdys (38) and Darius Raudonis (45), both of 7 The Old Mill, Naul, Dublin were brought before a sitting of Longford District Court this afternoon.

The pair were arrested and charged following a garda operation yesterday morning which led to the discovery of 446 cannabis plants at a premises in Abbeylara.

Garda Michael Shanley gave evidence of arresting the duo at Granard Garda Station shortly after lunchtime, adding that both men made no reply to the charge of unlawful cannabis cultivation after caution.

He said it would be the State’s case that both Mr Burdys and Mr Raudonis were found inside a shed close to a private residence on foot of a Section 26 search warrant carried out by the Gardaí’s Armed Support Unit, backed up by officers from Roscommon/Longford Divisional Drug Unit and local gardaí.

A third man was also arrested but has yet to be charged over the incident.

In response to questioning from Judge Seamus Hughes, Garda Shanley said the plants, valued at around €800 each, were at the mid stages of maturity when detected by gardaí yesterday.

He said the carefully adapted growhouse was so competently managed its energy usage was more than 14 times above the average amount consumed by conventional households.

“It had 100 amps going into it,” he said.

“A normal house would only have around 7 amps going into it.”

Defence solicitor Frank Gearty indicated the two men would be contesting the charge levelled against them and applied for bail.

“They will say they came on the scene and were in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.

Inspector Declan Rock said the only way the State would accede to that application was if both parties each tendered €20,000 by way of cash lodgements and independent sureties.

In his ruling, Judge Seamus Hughes said due to the gravity and potentially lengthy sentence a Section 17 offence carries, there was little scope open to him but to remand both men in custody.

The pair are scheduled to appear back before a sitting of Longford District Court next Tuesday.

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