A total of almost €200,000 worth of cannabis was found in two grow-houses in remote properties in the Mallow and Macroom areas.
The seizures date back to early 2015 and now one of the young men involved in the operations has been given an 18-month suspended jail term at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
While a number of people were arrested and charged at the time, the man who has now come before the court, Cain O'Mahony, 28, of Cooneybeg, Rathpeacon, County Cork, was described by gardaí as the least involved in the drugs crimes.
Detective Garda Donal Dwyer testified that back on February 21 2015 at Ruhillmore, Boherbue, Mallow, County Cork, gardaí found a grow-house with 160 plants. They had a total street value of €128,000.
In a follow-up search on March 15 2015 at Caum, Macroom, on April 8 2015 a further 86 plants were discovered in a second grow-house. The street value on this occasion amounted to €70,000.
Detective Garda Dwyer testified that Cain O’Mahony was unemployed and couch-surfing at the time, staying at the homes of friends.
Asked how the accused had been behaving since the crime was detected, Det. Garda Dwyer said, “Not so bad.” He said there had been some public order incidents but none related to drugs.
Prosecution barrister Donal McCarthy said the state accepted that this defendant was the least culpable of the three who were brought before the court.
Ray Boland defence barrister said the defendant had been acting on the promise of a payment of €2,000 which he never receive.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “I take on board the plea and the evidence that this man was the least culpable of a number of people involved.
“He was borderline homeless and unemployed. He was on the periphery but knowingly involved. He was attempting to rehabilitate and has done reasonably well. He seems to be substantially keeping out of trouble. In the circumstances I impose a sentence of 18 months.”