A Polish man who held over half a million euro worth of drugs in his Kildare home because he was struggling financially has been jailed for six years.
Przemyslaw Goska (33) was also caught with almost €70,000 worth of cocaine in the back of a car he was driving.
He admitted to gardaí he had been asked to transport the drugs from “point A to point B”.
Goska pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of MDMA with a value of €506,000 at his then rented accommodation in Louisa Park, Leixlip, Co Kildare on August 1, 2020.
He also pleaded guilty to possession of the cocaine, which had a street value of €68,300 for sale or supply in a car that he had borrowed from a friend on the same date. He has no previous convictions either here or in Poland.
Garda Jason Tone told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting that the house Goska was renting a room in at the time was under surveillance and a warrant was secured. The house was searched by gardaí and the MDMA was found in a bag in a wardrobe in his bedroom.
Goska was not at home at the time so gardaí remained at the house until he returned later that afternoon.
Goska and the car he had been driving were searched and the cocaine found on the back seat.
Gda Tone said Goska was interviewed 10 times and although he co-operated in terms of his own involvement, he said he was too afraid to give gardaí any further information.
He said he been promised money for holding the drugs and had also agreed to transport the cocaine from Point A to Point B.
He said he hadn’t intended to bring the cocaine into the house but had just returned home to pick up a change of clothes.
Gda Tone accepted that it was someone else in the house who was under surveillance that day and Goska was not on the garda radar.
He agreed with Damien Colgan SC, defending that Goska’s motivation was to “try and make a few bob to send back to his family” in Poland and he felt he was used because of his vulnerable financial circumstances.
Gda Tone accepted that the threat Goska was under was credible and that a letter provided from his former partner acknowledged that he was a good provider for his children.
Mr Colgan said his client had come to Ireland three years ago to make money for his family and had been working in the construction industry.
Judge Melanie Greally said she had taken into account Goska’s co-operation with the garda investigation, his pleas of guilty and the hardship his family will be exposed to now as a consequence of his actions.
She also acknowledged that Goska will find his time in prison more difficult because of both the global pandemic and the fact that he has limited English.
Judge Greally imposed a sentence of seven and half years but suspended the final 18 months of the sentence on condition that he keep the peace and be of good behaviour for 18 months and leave Ireland within 14 days of his release from prison.