SAUSAGES were used to conceal a €19,240 drugs stash in the boot of a car speeding past Mitchelstown towards Dublin but today the driver and front seat passenger were jailed for the drug run.
Detective Sergeant James O’Shea said today that investigating gardaí also found three mobile phones, a walkie-talkie two-way radio and €1,000 in cash in the car on the day, Jan 30, 2020, along with the sausages and almost a kilo of cannabis.
The drugs were in two separate bags.
The crime was detected when gardaí stopped the car because it was found to be speeding on the M8 motorway near Mitchelstown.
When the car was stopped Sergeant John McNamara got a strong smell of cannabis from the car.
The driver later claimed he was paid €200 to drive his car with the drugs that day.
The front seat passenger had organised the drug run, which he was carrying out because he was under duress to repay a non-drug-related debt.
Latvian driver, Aleksandrs Landzars, 27, and his accomplice and fellow-national, Jurijs Savcuks, 38, who was in the front seat, both pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to possessing the drugs for sale or supply at Kilshanny, Mitchelstown on the day in question.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin differentiated between them on the basis that Savcuks was the organiser of the crime.
He gave Landzars a sentence of five years in jail with the last two years suspended and sentenced Savcuks to six years in jail with the last one year suspended.
Det Sgt O’Shea told how the two men had travelled from Dublin to Cork and were returning to Dublin when they were stopped by gardaí.
Landzars, who was living with his parents at Patrickstown, Ballinlough, Kells, County Meath, and Savcuks, who was living at Chapelton, Hollystown in Dublin 15, could have faced a mandatory ten-year sentence but the judge said he could depart from that.
In effect, neither man had criminal convictions.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said the cooperation and the early guilty in each case gave him the discretion not to impose the ten-year sentence for having over 13,000 worth of drugs.
Landzars’s barrister, Mahon Corkery BL put it to Det Sgt O’Shea that his client, had a good work record since coming to Ireland in 2012. Mr Corkery said Lanzars had strong family support and his parents were shocked to learn of his involvement in drugs.
He said the role of the accused was minimal.
Barrister for Savcuks, Ronan Barnes BL said that his client got involved in bringing the drugs to Cork to pay off a non-drugs debt after he had borrowed money to set up his own business and was under pressure to repay the money.
Savcuks apologised for his crime through Mr Barnes BL as the barrister asked for leniency, pointing out that his client had co-operated with gardaí and had entered an early guilty plea to the offence.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said initially it looked as if Landzars was the more culpable as he owned the car and gardaí also found various paraphernalia associated with drug dealing such as mobile phones, a walkie-talkie and €1,000 in cash in the vehicle.
However he was satisfied from Det Sgt O’Shea’s evidence that Landzars had a lesser role in the crime.