A BUS passenger travelling from Dublin to Cork during a Covid lockdown with over €17,000 worth of heroin got so nervous with gardaí he claimed he was visiting his aunt but could not recall the address, or even remember her name.
Jason Landy, 32, who was living at Rope Walk, Blackrock, Cork, has now been jailed for the crime.
Garda David Forsythe testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that the crime was detected at MacCurtain St, Fermoy, Co Cork, on April 30, 2020.
Garda Forsythe said a Covid checkpoint was in place as there was a restriction on people’s movements in the country at the time.
In an apparent breach of the terms of the lockdown, Landy was travelling from Dublin to Cork in a bus.
Gardaí boarded the bus at the checkpoint and spoke to a number of passengers. Landy was one of them.
“He said he was visiting his aunt in Dublin but he could not pronounce the name of the place where he said he had been visiting,” said Garda Forsythe.
“And he could not think of the name for the aunt he said he was visiting.
“It was suspected that he was carrying drugs and, after a search, bags of heroin were found.”
The value of the heroin was in excess of €17,000.
“He admitted the possession for sale or supply and he said he was addicted to heroin. He was addicted to heroin from the age of 14 and he has 99 previous convictions,” said Garda Forsythe.
Nine of those convictions were for having drugs in his possession and two more were for having drugs for sale or supply.
Defence senior counsel Siobhán Lankford said Landy was co-operative during interview and that he continued to have an addiction issue.
“He is a young man with a very poor history, he has had drug issues since he was 14 years old,” said Ms Lankford. “I would ask for some light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, he can address his issues in prison.”
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a four-year jail term and suspended half of that sentence.
“He has longstanding addiction problems and, as far as I am aware, he has as of yet made no effort to address his issues. That is a worry to me,” said Judge Ó Donnabháin.
“He was given suspended sentences before but the faith put in him by the court was not repaid. Addiction has brought him to a low level. It will continue until he addresses his addiction which is the kernel of all of his problems.”