| 12.3°C Dublin

Drug runner used horse to haul 20kg of cannabis

A MAN who was caught carrying 20kg of cannabis resin on a horse as he was about to cross a bridge over the M50 has been jailed for two years.

Dean O'Callaghan (23) came to the notice of gardai because he was so unbalanced on the horse due to the weight of the bag he was carrying on his shoulders.

He threw the rucksack away as soon as he spotted gardai, but it was immediately retrieved and found to contain 19 bars of the drug worth an estimated €118,416.

O'Callaghan of Kildonan Road, Finglas West, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the drugs for sale or supply at Cappagh Road, also in Finglas, on February 19, 2010.

The court heard that O'Callaghan made full admissions on arrest and said that he had collected the drugs half an hour earlier. He claimed a €1,300 drug debt was to be reduced by €500 for doing the drop.

Garda Alan Gordon agreed with Caroline Biggs, defending, that it was a crime "lacking in sophistication or finesse" and described O'Callaghan as a "foot soldier" at the lowest rung of the operation.

Judge Martin Nolan said: "I accept his remorse but also must accept that he did know what he was doing and he was getting a reward for this."