Ballincollig man charged after €50k cocaine seizure

Ballincollig man charged after €50k cocaine seizure

Detective Garda Fergal Ashcroft formally arrested Arthur Ward of An Caisleán Close, Ballincollig, County Cork. 

Over €50,000 worth of cocaine was allegedly seized at a property in Ballincollig and today a 48-year-old man was formally arrested for the purpose of bringing a serious drugs charge against him.

Detective Garda Fergal Ashcroft formally arrested Arthur Ward of An Caisleán Close, Ballincollig, County Cork, and charged him with having cocaine on July 17 2020 at his home for the purpose of sale or supply at a time when its street value exceeded €13,000 – the threshold figure for a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Ward had been previously charged with possession of cocaine and having the drugs for sale or supply, arising out of the same case from July.

Sergeant John Kelleher said the Director of Public Prosecutions directed trial by indictment at Cork Circuit Criminal Court or the entering of a signed plea of guilty at Cork District Court for the accused to be sent forward for sentencing.

Defence barrister, Ronan Barnes, sought a relatively short adjournment so that the defence could consider these options.

Judge Olann Kelleher adjourned the case until April 21 at Cork District Court.

Mr Barnes BL asked for free legal aid to be extended to the new charge of having more than €13,000 worth of the drug for sale or supply. 

Judge Kelleher said it was a serious charge. However, when it emerged that the defendant was in employment the judge said he would adjourn the question of free legal aid so that a statement of means could be submitted.

There was no state objection to the accused being remanded on bail for the fortnight.

A co-accused, Brian O’Hanlon of An Caisleán Close, Ballincollig, County Cork, previously appeared before Cork District Court on the same three charges related to the alleged seizure of over €50,000 worth of cocaine.

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