Two in court over €1.2m drug seizure in operation targeting organised crime group

The seizure was made as part of a Garda operation targeting an organised crime group involved in drug trafficking
Two in court over €1.2m drug seizure in operation targeting organised crime group

Tom Tuite

Two men charged in relation to a seizure of cannabis resin with an estimated street value of €1.2 million in Dublin have been remanded in custody.

The Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) intercepted two vehicles in the Brittas area and searched a business premises in Tallaght on Friday morning. During the course of the operation, gardaí seized 210kg of cannabis resin.

Two men were arrested and detained under section two of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996 at Tallaght Garda station.

On Friday night, gardaí charged Gerard Windrum (37), of Oliver Bond House, Dublin 8, and Anthony Larkin (45), formerly of Killarney Park, Bray, Co Wicklow, with possessing cannabis for sale or supply in connection with the seizure.

They appeared before Judge Gerard Jones at Dublin District Court on Saturday. Both are accused of having the drugs at a location in Brittas.

The court heard Mr Windrum allegedly had more cannabis in his car and a storage lock-up in Tallaght.

Detective Garda Val Russell said the total seizure was worth €1.2 million, adding the defendants "made no reply" to charge.

Judge Jones noted there was an objection to bail due to the seriousness of the case. However, solicitor Katie Dowling, for Mr Windrum, said her client was not making a bail application and was granted legal aid after the court heard he was unemployed.

Organised crime group

Kevin McCrave BL, representing Mr Larkin, said his client was looking for bail and would abide by “strict conditions”.

Detective Garda Russell said the arrests were made during an operation targetting "an organised crime group" involved in drug trafficking.

It was alleged that gardaí observed Mr Larkin in a car outside a pub in Tallaght. The court heard a co-accused handed him three rucksacks and a suitcase, which he put in the boot of the vehicle.

The bail hearing was told they drove in convoy until gardaí intercepted them.

Some 98kg of cannabis, worth an estimated €588,000, was recovered from the bags which had earlier been placed in Mr Larkin's car, in addition to approximately €1,200 worth of cannabis seized from Mr Windrum's vehicle and the remainder at another location.

The garda agreed with the judge that the men were caught "red-handed".

Mr McCrave said his client was a father of two with a car breakdown assistance business. He said Mr Larkin has no previous criminal convictions and denies the charges against him.

The garda said Mr Larkin had not lived at the address he provided for several years, but counsel submitted he could reside in a hotel in Co Wicklow until he sources a permanent address.

Counsel also argued that being caught red-handed did not mean his client was guilty.

Judge Jones set bail in his bond of €100 but added a €5,000 independent surety had to be approved, or a €5,000 cash lodgement.

Mr Larkin must also confirm a permanent address, carry a mobile phone at all times on release, surrender his passport, and sign on daily at a Garda station.

Judge Jones granted Mr Larkin legal aid and remanded him in custody with consent to bail.

The pair will appear at Cloverhill District Court on Wednesday.

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