Mechanic caught during €139,000 drug handover jailed for two years

Mechanic Caught During €139,000 Drug Handover Jailed For Two Years
Xhevair Ibraj pleaded guilty to one count of possessing drugs for sale or supply. Photo: PA Images
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Isabel Hayes

A mechanic who was caught in the middle of a €139,000 cocaine handover by gardaí who happened across it while on patrol has been jailed for two years.

Xhevair Ibraj was seen by gardaí parked at a junction at Porterstown Road in Dublin 15 receiving a Lidl bag from a co-accused, which later transpired to be full of drugs, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.


The pair were not under any surveillance and were caught by gardaí who just happened to be in the area, the court heard.

When approached by gardaí and asked to hand over the bag he had just received from the other man, Ibraj initially handed over a bag of potatoes and then a bag of clothes before the Lidl bag full of cocaine was spotted by gardaí in the footwell of the car he was driving.

Another package of cocaine was also retrieved from the car, with the drugs having a combined street value of €139,132, Sergeant Frances Hall told Maddie Grant BL, prosecuting.

Ibraj, of The Village, Clonsilla, Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing drugs for sale or supply on March 17th, 2020. He has no previous convictions.


Garda search

His co-accused pleaded guilty to a more serious drugs charge and was previously jailed for four years. The court heard that when this man's home was searched, gardaí found cash, designer handbags and other trappings of wealth.

The court heard Ibraj was initially also charged with the more serious drugs offence, but his guilty plea to the lesser drugs charge was acceptable to the Director of Public Prosecution.

Sgt Hall agreed with James Dwyer SC, defending, that Ibraj had no signs of similar wealth.

Mr Dwyer said his client is originally from Albania and has been living in Ireland for 14 years. He has a wife and two kids, works as a mechanic, and was described by defence counsel as a “hard-working family man”.


He had not come to the attention of gardaí before or since this incident, the court heard.

Mr Dwyer submitted Ibraj's culpability was lower than his co-accused.

Sentencing Ibraj on Tuesday, Judge Martin Nolan said the accused behaved evasively when caught by gardaí, adding that he deserved a custodial sentence for his actions on the day.

“He involved himself with a rather serious amount of drugs, either intentionally or recklessly,” he said, handing down a two-year sentence.

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