A young man parked his Audi A5 a short distance from Cork city centre where another person was to pick up a €20,000 package of cannabis.
However, gardaí observed the young motorist’s suspicious activities and carried out a search.
That was on July 7 and now at Cork Circuit Criminal Court the accused man has been jailed for three years as the judge remarked that the accused had played a vital part in the supply of drugs in Cork city.
Garda Paul Delaney said gardaí were on duty in the Barrack Street area when they saw 23-year-old Rokib Lahadjo leaving his car at Industry Street, off Barrack Street, at 11.45 p.m. on Tuesday night, July 7.
The defendant and his passenger and the car itself were searched. A gear bag was found in the car with ten vacuum-packed bags of cannabis with a street value just short of €20,000.
The defendant was interviewed and his explanation was that he knew what was in the back. He told gardaí he had been asked to park his car at Industry Street and allow it to be used to store the drug.
Rokib Lahadjo was remanded in custody since the night of his arrest in July.
Defence barrister Sinead Behan said the defendant’s Muslim family had taken a very serious view of his offending behaviour.
Ms Behan said the young man had done very well in school and spent three years studying at the National Maritime Institute.
The defence barrister said that by the associations he had made with others he had gotten into difficulty over the last two years.
The defendant had been residing at Oakfield View, Glanmire, County Cork, and pleaded guilty to having more than €13,000 worth of drugs which put him at risk of a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said he would not impose the mandatory minimum sentence.
“He had bags of cannabis herb. No doubt he was knowingly involved. He appears to have facilitated dealing. All of these steps are important in the delivery of drugs to the community. Every step, every party, every cog in the wheel is important.
“He supplied an important function in the supply of drugs in the city,” the judge said.
A sentence of five years was imposed with the last two years suspended at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.