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01 Jul 2022

24-year-old Offaly man had €500 of cocaine for sale when stopped by Gardaí

An Offaly man was driving around Mountmellick with €500 of cocaine and weighing scales in his car, selling the drug to people in pubs.

That was State’s evidence in the case of Dean O’Brien (24), with an address at Kilcavan, Geashill, Offaly.

At last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Detective Garda Padraic Ryan gave evidence that on June 4, 2016, he was conducting an operation into the sale and supply of drugs in local public houses, when he saw a car pull up outside a pub in Mountmellick, Co. Laois and a number of males bought two bags of cocaine.

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When the accused was stopped and searched, the gardaí found three bags of cocaine hidden in his underwear and a large bag of the drug in his sock.

The total value of the drugs on his person was €500. The accused had no previous convictions.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick, said her client had now ceased this activity. She thanked Detective Ryan for doing his duty, as “otherwise we could be dealing with a much more serious issue.”

Defence said that the accused had been offered the drug two years ago and started using it socially, feeling that he couldn’t socialise without it.

Ms Fitzpatrick said that her client was a sportsperson and handed in a letter from his local club, as well as a letter from his parents.

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Detective Ryan said he accepted that the accused took cocaine himself, but added: “He was driving around Mountmellick with five bags of cocaine and weighing scales. He was there that night to sell those drugs.”

In ruling, Judge Catherine Staines told the accused he had made a decision to sell drugs to young people.

“You were buying drugs from more serious criminals, people who would put a gun to your head,” the judge told him.

She said that O’Brien should be going to prison for 12 months, but he had no previous convictions, had pleaded guilty, and had suffered with a cocaine addiction.

However, she said she had no doubt he was dealing the drug to make money.

Saying she wanted proof he was engaging with a drug service for his addiction and had stopped using drugs, Judge Staines put the matter back for a probation report.

She warned him she was not making any promises and the report had better be excellent.

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