A man who skipped bail and fled to Spain 13 years ago after he was caught with almost €1 million worth of drugs has been jailed for nine years.
Joseph Daly (54) left Ireland months after he pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to having a stash of cocaine and heroin with a total value of €995,850 at his then home, on Glenamuck Road in Carrickmines on November 22, 2007.
A European arrest warrant was issued in 2008, but it was not executed until this April after he spent three years in a Spanish jail when he was caught with €190,0000 worth of cannabis herb.
Detective Garda Eoin Roche told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that he was involved in the investigation in 2007 during which he secured a warrant to search Daly’s home following a surveillance operation.
When gardaí raided the house there was a small amount of cocaine on a CD case in the sitting room and Daly indicated that gardaí would find a larger haul of the drug in the hot press.
During the search of the house and the garden an amount of cocaine was found in a press above the fridge, a number of packages containing the drug was found in a holdall under the oil tank in the back garden and a half kilogramme of heroin was found in the garden shed.
Daly made immediate admissions and later told gardaí in interview that he had been promised €5,000 to hold the drugs. The cocaine was estimated to have a street value of €904,750 and the heroin worth €91,100.
Daly was released and charged and appeared again in court in 2008 when he pleaded guilty. He failed to show up for the adjourned sentence hearing.
Det Gda Roche said Daly was jailed in May 2018 in Spain after he admitted to having the cannabis herb for sale or supply. The Spanish authorities alerted the gardaí to his arrest and he was extradited to Ireland this April after serving the jail term. He has three previous convictions from Ireland for road traffic offences.
Det Gda Roche agreed with Dean Kelly SC, defending, that his client came from a hardworking decent family and appears to have had a long work history himself.
He developed a significant cocaine problem and was abusing steroids at the time of his arrest.
Det Gda Roche accepted that Daly had no assets from drug dealing and there was no cash discovered during the search of his home.
Mr Kelly said his client got married at 21 years old and the couple had three children together. He later started drinking with a group of people and taking cocaine with them. This group was also involved in criminality, which was how he got involved in holding the drugs.
He asked the court to accept his client’s submission that his decision to not show up for his sentence hearing was “a half-baked plan” put together “in a state of panic” rather than a pre-planned deliberate scheme.
Mr Kelly said his client met an Irish woman in Spain and the couple have two children together.
Judge Martin Nolan said Daly was holding the drugs for financial reward, but accepted he made admissions and co-operated with the garda investigation.
Judge Nolan said a long sentence is justified “by reason of the amount of drugs involved”.
“It would have been better for himself and everyone else in his life if he had not jumped bail and gone to Spain,” Judge Nolan said before he jailed Daly for nine years.