Thursday 18 July 2019

Two Irishmen caught with €143k of LSD and cannabis plead guilty to global drug dealing on Dark Net


Aoife Nic Ardghail

A Bitcoin trader and a film technician were involved in an online global operation described as "a new era in drug dealing", a court has heard.

Neil Mannion (34) and Richard O'Connor (34) were charged with possessing drugs worth €143,000 following a garda raid on a business premises in south Dublin in October 2014.

Detective Sergeant Brian Roberts compared the operation of selling drugs on the "Dark Net" to eBay or Amazon, saying: "it's a new phenomenon that's growing and ultimately the modern era of drug dealing".

Mannion, of Mount Drummond Avenue, Harold's Cross and O'Connor, of Clonskeagh Road, Clonskeagh both pleaded guilty to possession of LSD, amphetamine and cannabis resin with intent to sell or supply at Bank House Business Centre, South Circular Road on November 5 2014. Neither have any previous convictions.

The court heard former Eircom worker Mannion had set up the online drug dealing business and that O'Conner was paid up to €600 a week to post the packages to customers in countries like Japan, Argentina and the USA.

Judge Martin Nolan said he would think about the case over the weekend and deal with it at 2pm on Monday.

He remanded both men in custody to then.

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