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Dad gets 6 years' for drugs in van

A MARRIED father-of-five has been sentenced to six years' jail after a garda raid uncovered €130,000 of cannabis stashed in a van outside his family home.

Bernard Power (38) pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis for sale or supply at his home at St Oliver's Park, Cloverhill Park, Clondalkin, on June 18, 2007.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that gardai at Donnybrook Garda Station received a tip-off about illegal firearms and drugs being held at Power's home.

Searches uncovered a bag of herbal cannabis under the passenger seat of the van and nine further bags concealed behind its interior wooden panelling.

Just under 13kg of cannabis herb, with a value of €150,000, was found.

Roisin Lacey, defending, said Power was a "low level courier" in the drugs trade.

Judge Patrick McCartan said that Power had only pleaded guilty to the charge after the case had gone to trial and his defence counsel lost a legal challenge regarding whether the van was covered by the search warrant.

"The drugs were found on his property outside his home. The evidence was clear as daylight," he said.

He sentenced Power, who had no previous convictions, to six years in prison and suspended the final two.