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Mr Clean faces years in jail for €29m drug run

An entrepreneur and Trinity College graduate who organised the importation of €29m worth of cocaine will be sentenced next month.

Criminal mastermind Gareth Hopkins (33), who is nicknamed 'Mr Clean', had been made redundant earlier in the year and told gardai he was under financial pressure.

PURITY

HE IS HIGHLY EDUCATED AND IS ALSO A DIRECTOR OF A NUMBER OF LEGITIMATE COMPANIES.

The court heard on a previous occasion that Hopkins was director of a recycling company and a mining company in Sierra Leone. He has a degree in computer science from Trinity college.

Hopkins pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at Ballycoolin, west Dublin, and at his then home at Beech Park, Leixlip, Kildare, on June 26, 2012. He has been in custody since his arrest and has no previous convictions.

The court heard Hopkins had accepted responsibility for the entirety of the 423kg of cocaine, valued at €29,627,934, imported through Dublin Port and concealed inside wooden flooring planks as part of a larger consignment.

The drugs were separated from the consignment and later seized at locations in Dublin and Kildare.

SERIOUS

Judge Mary Ellen Ring adjourned sentencing until June 10 to allow her to consider testimonials handed in to court. She noted the case was "clearly one of the more serious offences of this nature to come before the court".

Hopkins faces a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Patrick Marrinan, defending, submitted there were "exceptional circumstances" in the case because of Hopkins' previous good character.

hnews@herald.ie


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