The Dubliner who walked away from a garda checkpoint in Cork with a large stash of heroin claimed he left the car because of a row with the driver but the driver said the passenger left to get help because the car overheated.
When interviewed at the time he also denied that the backpack containing €70,000 worth of heroin which he discarded had anything to do with him.
However, Thomas Lakes, has now confessed to the crime and has been jailed for four years.
Detective Garda Aidan Long testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that the accused was travelling in a car that stopped behind another car at a Covid-19 checkpoint on the main Cork-Limerick Road on March 16 and that a number of people got out of the car.
The detective said he saw Thomas Lakes carrying the bag and that when the bag was subsequently found during a search and there was documentation in the bag with the defendant’s name on it.
Cross-examined during an unsuccessful bail application on an earlier date, the defendant said in relation to the bag, “Nothing to do with me.”
Now at Cork Circuit Criminal Court he has pleaded guilty to a charge of having heroin worth in excess of €13,000 for sale or supply.
The accused has been on methadone treatment for 25 years and now uses crack cocaine. The 44-year-old replied, ‘No comment’ to most of the questions put to him when interviewed.
He had two crack cocaine pipes on him when arrested. He had three previous drugs convictions.
The detective said, “He is not the main player but he is a vital cog. He came from Dublin to an unknown location in Cork with €70,000 worth of heroin."
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said the accused was knowingly involved in the drug dealing and he sentenced him to six years in prison with the last two years suspended.