Friday 16 November 2018

Two charged following €2.8m drug seizure in Dublin remanded in custody

(Stock image)
(Stock image)

Tom Tuite

Two men charged following a €2.8m drug seizure in Dublin will be in prison on remand this Christmas.

Gardai intercepted two cars in the Drumcondra area on Wednesday this morning and approximately five kilos of cannabis herb were seized.

Two men, aged 25 and 30, were arrested at the scene and detained at Finglas Garda Station under the provisions of Section 2- Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996.

More drugs were found in a search at an address in Drumcondra.

Father-of-one Leroy Howard, 25, appeared before Judge Bryan Smyth at Dublin District Court today afternoon charged with possessing cannabis for sale or supply after a car was stopped at St Joseph’s Avenue, D.9 on Dec. 20 last.

He was refused bail following a hearing in which the court heard that this to be his first Christmas as a father.

Objecting to bail citing the seriousness of the offence, Det Garda Redmond O’Leary told the court that Mr Howard was caught red-handed following covert surveillance. He alleged that a Ford Focus driven by Mr Howard pulled up in front of a black taxi.

The driver of the taxi got out and was allegedly approached by Mr Howard. It was alleged he was handed a two large white bags which he placed on the rear seat of the Ford Focus.

It was alleged Leroy Howard drove away along on St Joseph’s Drive in the direction of St Alphonsus Road where he was stopped. Five kilos of suspected cannabis and a quantity of white powder substance believed to be a controlled drug, were recovered, the court heard. The value of the cannabis was €100,000 and the charge before the court carried a five-year sentence.

Det Garda O’Leary agreed with defence solicitor Amanda Connolly that the accused has strong family ties and was rooted in his community. The garda accepted that this alleviated one concern in relation to the Mr Howard being a flight risk.

The solicitor also said that Mr Howard and his partner have an eight-month old baby and a second child due in March.

He also agreed that it was accepted that Mr Howard was “low down on the scale”.

The family had raised €7,000 for bail and the garda accepted that this was a large amount of money for them.

The defence solicitor said her client, who did not address the court, would surrender his passport and would abide by bail terms. She said that this was his “first Christmas as a father and it is weighing heavily on his mind”.

However Judge Smyth refused bail and remanded him in custody to appear on Dec. 26 next.

Co-accused Michael Smullen, 33, from Oak Park Avenue, Santry, Dublin was charged with having cannabis, cocaine and heroin for sale or supply at a building on St Columba’s Road  in Drumcondra and having cannabis for supply at St. Joseph's Road on Dec 20.

He made no application for bail when he appeared before a late sitting of Dublin District Court on Thursday evening. Det Garda Patrick Hearne said the man had no reply when charged. Judge Gerard Jones remanded him in custody to appear again on Dec. 27 next.

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