A 50-year-old man caught with €42,000 worth of cannabis resin in a rented apartment in Donoughmore in County Cork was jailed for six and a half years.
Detective Garda Andrew Manning gave evidence in the case against Mark Fitzgerald at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Fitzgerald pleaded guilty to a charge of having cannabis resin for sale or supply at a time when the street value of the drugs exceeded €13,000.
Det. Garda Manning said gardaí executed a search warrant at a rented apartment in Donoughmore where Mark Fitzgerald was residing.
“There was a black gear bag underneath the bed with seven kilos of cannabis resin in it with a value of over €42,000.
“He made full admissions – that while selling small quantities he was holding the large quantity for someone he could not name,” Det. Garda Manning said.
The accused had 27 previous convictions but the detective said only one of them was relevant. That dated back to February 2010 when he got a seven-year sentence with the last two years suspended for having €84,000 worth of cannabis resin.
Det. Garda Manning said of the accused, “He has certain addiction issues but he works fulltime always.”
Defence senior counsel, Ray Boland, said the property in Donoughmore was rented and that the drugs were found under a bed. He said the admissions made by the accused would have been in ease of the prosecution.
The 50-year-old lives with his family at Dunmanus Crescent in Knocknaheeny, Cork, but was caught with the drugs at Ballygurrity in Donoughmore.
Mr Boland said, “He is very determined when he comes out – he is under no illusion, he is going into custody – he has his drug problem under control.”
Judge Helen Boyle said, “I accept you have shown yourself as someone able to work and you will have to work when you leave prison.
“You accept you have a serious alcohol addiction. You were very foolish in allowing yourself to be taken advantage of – allowing yourself to be used for the storage of drugs.”
The judge said the previous conviction for having €84,000 worth of cannabis was a major aggravating factor in the present case.
“You have pleaded guilty. You spared the state the expense of a trial. I take the view that this was a serious offence,” Judge Boyle said.
The judge then imposed a sentence of eight years with the last 18 months suspended.