DEALS of cocaine worth over €10,000 were found concealed in a washbag under the bonnet of a car and today the driver was remanded in custody until June 22 for sentencing.
The Ballincollig man was caught with over €11,000 worth of cocaine, between what was found on his person and the larger stash under the bonnet of his car, Garda Brian Holland testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Judge Helen Boyle said she would adjourn sentencing of Michael O’Connell, aged 28, until June. “That will give him some more time in custody to consider his actions and also give an opportunity for consideration of what be available to him for his rehabilitation,” Judge Boyle said.
The accused told gardaí when questioned that he was being paid €200 as a courier to drop the drug from location A to B.
O’Connell, formerly of Innishmore Grove, Ballincollig, and who also lived at Aylsbury, Ballincollig, pleaded guilty to having cocaine for sale or supply at an address at Innishmore Grove, on September 24, 2018.
Garda Holland testified that on that date he saw the defendant driving a silver Toyota Avensis at Innishmore Drive at 10pm.
“There was a strong smell of cannabis from the car,” he said.
“He was nervous when I spoke to him. I suspected he was in possession of a controlled drug because of the smell of cannabis and his nervous demeanour.
“A bag of cocaine and a small amount of cannabis was found on his person,” Garda Holland said.
The garda carried out a thorough search of the car when it was seized and taken to Gurranabraher garda station at the time of the defendant’s arrest.
Garda Holland said today: “There was a washbag under the bonnet of the car with deals of cocaine and bigger bags of cocaine. Charged with having the cocaine for sale or supply, he said the cannabis and cocaine on his person were for his own use and that the cocaine under the bonnet he had picked up from point A to deliver to point B, getting €200 to do this drop. He said he was a messenger and not a drug dealer. The cannabis was a small amount for his own use. The cocaine had a street value of €11,290.”
O’Connell had 25 previous convictions, including a nine-month sentence in 2016 for having drugs for sale or supply.
Defence barrister Sinead Behan said his favourable probation report “shows he has insight into the effects of drugs. He also has a supportive family”.