AN East Cork teenager dealing large quantities of cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis has been remanded in custody for sentencing on May 17.
David O’Donovan, aged 19, from Cherrywood Heights, Midleton, Co Cork, was caught with over €68,000 worth of drugs when he was only 18.
His senior counsel Seamus Roche said: “He was doing this to fund his own habit. He became involved in drugs since the age of 14 — buying drugs to sell them from the age of 14. He was leading a chaotic lifestyle.”
Detective Garda Diarmuid O’Neill of the Midleton District Drugs Squad told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that when O’Donovan was stopped and searched by gardaí at Bailick in Midleton on April 11 last year, they found cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy in two rucksacks.
The value of the cannabis was €37,720, the cocaine was worth €10,395, and the ecstasy tablets had a street value of €15,954. When gardaí carried out a follow-up search of O’Donovan’s house, they found cannabis worth €4,168, weighing scales, and plastic bags.
When interviewed, O’Donovan made full admissions in relation to the drugs. He had no previous convictions and had not come to garda attention since his arrest.
Mr Roche said that his client was relieved to be apprehended by gardaí and had attempted to deal with his addiction by doing a three-month residential treatment course at Cara Lodge in Cork, where he had engaged with the services and underwent regular urine sample drug tests, which showed that he was no longer using drugs.
He said his client’s parents were very supportive of his efforts to deal with his addiction, he had shown remorse and was not likely to reoffend.
Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin said it was an extraordinary amount of drugs for an 18-year-old defendant.
The most serious charge faced by the teenager carries a mandatory minimum 10-year sentence. The judge said he could depart from that in light of his age and other factors.
He remanded the accused in custody for a month while considering the sentence to be imposed.