A Hungarian national living in Ireland for 13 years has just been jailed for four years after being caught with over €94,000 worth of cocaine in West Cork.
Sandor Banati was sentenced by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin at Cork Circuit Criminal Court for having cocaine for sale or supply in the Ballinhassig area and also at his home in Bandon on March 7.
Detective Garda Shannon Ryan and garda colleagues stopped a Volkswagen Passat at Ballynagrumoolia, Ballinhassig, on that date and a search was conducted.
Packages were found in four different parts of the car. All packets contained cocaine to a total value of €60,000.
A search warrant for his home in Glasslynn, Bandon, was then obtained and in the follow-up search, €34,000 worth of cocaine was then discovered in clothing in the defendant’s bedroom.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin noted the scale of the drugs operation and asked precisely what part he had played in the crime.
Det Garda Ruan said, “He was a delivery man.”
The 39-year-old has been living in Ireland since 2006.
Defence barrister, Emmet Boyle, said the accused admitted possession of the drugs immediately and indicated to gardaí where the drugs could be found.
The judge was told that the accused, Sandor Banati, was a hard-working man and was not a drug addict.
“What was he getting out of it?” Judge Ó Donnabháin asked.
Det Garda Ryan replied, “Very small money for carrying big amounts of drugs.”
Mr Boyle BL said that the plea of guilty entered by the accused would have been of assistance to the prosecution and he had no previous convictions.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said he was allowing for the fact that the accused was not the main man in this drug-dealing operation.
“But whatever he was doing he was doing it knowingly for money,” the judge said as he imposed a total jail term of four years with none of it suspended.