Man sentenced for storing over €95,000 of drugs to pay off debt

ireland
Man Sentenced For Storing Over €95,000 Of Drugs To Pay Off Debt Man Sentenced For Storing Over €95,000 Of Drugs To Pay Off Debt
played an active role in the distribution of drugs for over a year. Photo: PA Images
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Claire Henry

A Dublin man who allowed his home to be used to store drugs to pay off his drug debt has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that confidential information received by gardaí provided grounds for a search warrant to be issued for a house in the Finglas area.

The court heard that on December 3rd, 2019, a search of a property in Melville Way, Cityside, Finglas was carried out and a large amount of drugs, including cannabis, cocaine and ketamine, was seized with a value of over €95,000.

The home was owned by Robert Byrne (47), who was present at the time of the search after which Byrne was cautioned, arrested and interviewed by gardaí.

The court heard that during his interview, Byrne stated he had a significant drug debt of €20,000-€25,000 and allowed his home to be used to hold drugs.

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He said threats were made against him and his family and that he was put under pressure to hold the drugs.

Sale or supply

Byrne, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to the possession of one or more controlled drugs for the purpose of sale or supply. Gardaí accepted that was in fear for his life and was holding the drugs for this reason.

The court heard Byrne did not live a lavish lifestyle and did not profit from the sale of drugs held in his house.

Judge Orla Crowe outlined this was a very serious offence with a high value of multiple drugs seized. She took into account that Byrne had pleaded guilty to the offence, but noted he had also been caught red-handed.

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Judge Crowe stated Byrne had played an active role in the distribution of drugs for over a year.

Byrne was sentenced to three years in prison with the final six months suspended under the condition that he be of good behaviour and keep the peace for three years post-release.

The court heard Byrne had a sense of relief when gardaí searched his house, and he has expressed regret and remorse for his actions.

A urinalysis report highlighted Byrne was drug-free, and a Probation Services report said he was at a low risk of reoffending.

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