A TAXI driver who got commission for supplying "small-time drug dealers" with cocaine has been jailed for four years.
Judge Katherine Delahunt noted that Nigerian national Ezenwate Izundu (39) had been dealing cocaine to small-time dealers as a "third string to his bow" while he was already running a taxi and a clothing store.
She told Izundu that had he not met the case with an early plea and shown remorse for his offence she would have added at least two years to his sentence.
Izundu, of Mulberry Park, Carpenterstown, Blanchardstown, pleaded guilty before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possessing cocaine worth €11,340 in his taxi at Pearse Street on October 16, 2009. Gardai also seized €7,440 in cash which the State is applying to have forfeited.
Garda Gillian Moran revealed that colleagues stopped the cab for a drugs search after a tip-off and found the cocaine and cash.
She told Maurice Coffey, prosecuting, that Izundu made full admissions on arrest and explained that he had been given cocaine to supply street dealers for commission from the drug money collected.
She said Izundu, a married father-of-four, got his taxi plate as soon as he was entitled to work in Ireland in 2005 and set up a clothing shop and Western Union branch soon after.
She added that he fully co-operated with gardai and hadn't come to adverse attention since.
Garda Moran agreed with Ronan Monroe, defending, that his client told gardai he had been using cocaine himself at the time.
She agreed that she and other colleagues had been keeping a close eye on Izundu in the last year as he drove around town but that he had always been co-operative and respectful when stopped for a drugs search.
Izundu told his counsel that he drove his taxi from 7pm to 6am after a 10-hour shift in his shop Monday to Saturday.
He said a close friend, who was present in court, would help his wife close down the shop since there would be nobody to run the business in his absence.
Izundu apologised to his family, his friends, the gardai and the judge for his actions and said the last 12 months had been the "toughest time of my life".