A 49-year-old man has appeared before Cork District Court charged in connection with the seizure of 35kgs of cannabis with an estimated street value of €700,000.
The seizure was made on Thursday at a storage unit in Bandon Road in Cork. The search was carried out as part of ongoing investigations targeting organised crime groups operating in the southern region.
Eugene Barrett, with an address at Smithgrove Terrace, Middle Glanmire Road in Cork city, appeared before the court where he was charged with possession of cannabis and possession of cannabis for sale or supply.
Det Garda Eoin O’Toole said Mr Barrett made no reply when the charges were put to him under caution. He objected to bail arising out of the seriousness of the charges.
Det Garda O’Toole said the sentence for a conviction in such a case was very high. He expressed his belief that there was a likelihood that the accused would commit serious offences if he was granted bail in the cause.
Daithi O’Donnabhain, solicitor for Mr Barrett, said that his client was willing to sign up for stringent conditions such as obeying a curfew, being contactable 24/7 to gardai and signing on regularly at his local garda station if he was granted bail in the case. He told the court that his client was without previous convictions.
Mr O’Donnabhain said that Barrett was an unemployed man with very little in the way of means. Free legal aid was granted in the case.
Judge Colm Roberts declined to give bail in the case arising out of the seriousness of the charges. Mr Barrett was remanded in custody until his next court appearance on October 6th next for directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
The seizure was made following a joint intelligence-led operation conducted by the Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau, the Revenue Commissioners Customs Service, and the Cork Divisional Drugs Unit.