Woman hid 'drugs cash' in bra when Garda stopped her - court hears
A woman whom Gardai claimed was driving around Dundalk selling drugs on the street was found to have hundreds of euro in cash stuffed down her bra, along with three lists of names, many of whom were known drugs users, the district court was told last week.
Grace Flanagan (28) admitted having a small amount of heroin and 20 D10 tablets in her car which was stopped near Muirhevnamor on April 19, but she denied having the drugs for sale or supply.
Flanagan claimed she had taken out a loan from a local credit union, of €2,000, for 'home improvements' and provided documentation to support her claim in the form of the statement from the institution.
Judge Grainne O'Neill was told that Gardai spotted a known drug user waiting close to the Dundalk Retail Park entrance, at Woodies, shortly after 4.30pm. He was behaving suspiciously and they kept an eye on him.
The man went into the car park and a short time later, an Opel Astra car pulled up and an 'exchange' took place, which Gardai said lasted less than a second.
They followed the car down Tom Bellew Avenue and at Sliabh Foy Park, two more drug users were spotted. There was a further exchange with them and the driver and they saw money being handed to the driver.
When the men spotted the Gardai, one of them swallowed what they had got. The car drove away, and Flanagan was stopped at Crescent One where €40 was found on her lap, along with a list of names that included drug users.
Flanagan handed over her mobile phone and was taken to the station. A small container with 20 D10s, also known as benzos, was found on her along with €300 in her pocket and cash found in her sock and her bra.
A search of the car revealed a small amount of heroin near the gear stick. Flanagan said the heroin was for her own use.
In her statement, Flanagan said the money found on her was from part of a loan for €2,000 she had received from her credit union and she later provided a statement from the institution to Gardai showing the loan going into her account. She said the lists were of people who owed her money and claimed she lends people money, claiming that she gets €50 back for lending €30. Flanagan said she had been spoken to by Gardai before about lending money without a licence.
She denied that any exchanges took place between herself and the men she spoke to on the road and claimed she knew them and was just chatting to them. She had the cash on her that day as she was going to get a TV and other items for her house.
Judge O'Neill asked Flanagan what the reference to 'an eighth' was on one of the lists, which were handed into court in evidence. Flanagan said she didn't think it was an eighth at all, it looked more like a 'scribble or a question mark'.
The judge said she had heard the evidence in the case and was satisfied that the drugs were for sale or supply and convicted Flanagan. She adjourned the case for a probation report to January 18 and told the defendant she had to engage with the service.