Saturday 24 August 2019

Two in court over drugs haul worth €6.2m seized after raid on lock-up

Accused: Keith Donoghue
Accused: Keith Donoghue
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Two men have appeared in court charged in connection with the seizure of €6.2m of drugs in raids on a premises in Ashbourne, Co Meath, on Wednesday.

Michael Smullen (31), a father-of-one from Ashdale Close in Kinsealy, Co Dublin, and Keith Donoghue (37) from Swift Grove in Clonshaugh in Dublin 17, were brought before Trim District Court yesterday morning amid tight security.

Both were charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act with possession of drugs and possession of drugs for unlawful sale or supply.

Detective Garda William Armstrong told Judge Cormac Dunne that he arrested and charged Mr Smullen on Thursday night at Ashbourne Garda Station.

The court heard that when charged, Mr Smullen had replied "no" to each charge.

Garda Donal Donoghue told the court he arrested and charged Keith Donoghue on Thursday night and that the accused had made no reply to the charges.

Accused: Michael Smullen
Accused: Michael Smullen

The court heard that it is alleged both men were working in tandem at a lock-up in Muckerstown, Ashbourne, Co Meath, on Wednesday when gardaí searched the premises.

It is alleged Mr Smullen was making cardboard boxes and that Mr Donoghue, who came out of a back office with a 'tick list', was packing the boxes with the cannabis for further transportation.

Other items were also found, including weighing scales and boxes that had already been packed and sealed.

Det Gda Armstrong said that cannabis weighing 311kg and valued at €6.2m was found on the premises.

Both men applied for bail but it was objected to on the grounds of the seriousness of the charges and the lengthy sentences that could result from those charges.

Bail was denied, but both men were granted free legal aid.

They were remanded in custody to appear at Cloverhill court on November 24.

Irish Independent

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