| 3.8°C Dublin

Teen drug dealer said he had his own staff

A TEENAGE drug dealer who claimed he employed several people in his area, and who was caught hiding in an attic, will be jailed in July.

Travis Keane (19) was found with over €30,000 worth of cocaine at his girlfriend's house. He immediately admitted he was dealing the drugs for profit and had people working for him.

Keane, of Cherry Orchard Crescent, Ballyfermot, admitted possessing the drugs at a Ballyfermot house on August 16, 2008.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Tony Hunt said a jail sentence was "absolutely inevitable" and he would be "doing him no favours" by giving him a suspended sentence as it would likely be appealed by the State.

However he indicated he would not impose the mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years due to Keane's age and assistance to gardai. Det Garda Jane Heaney told the court she and colleagues searched the home of Keane's girlfriend and found him lying on a bed upstairs.

He had cocaine on him and he pointed out a bag containing 437.57 grams worth €30,590. He was arrested and insisted the drugs were his and that he was a dealer.

He said he was not holding on to the cocaine for anyone and he was not selling it to repay a debt. He said he had bought the drugs for €10,000.

Garda Heaney said Keane had 11 previous convictions, mainly for road traffic offences, and he has failed to show up to court on four occasions.

She said when they went to arrest him after he failed to show up for sentencing, they found him hiding in the attic behind the water tank.