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Man caught with over €700,000 worth of drugs

Sonya McLean

A father of five who was caught with over €700,000 worth of drugs at three separate locations in Dublin will be sentenced later at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Darren King (34) of Cole Park Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin was sent forward after signed pleas of guilty at the District Court. Today he confirmed those pleas of guilty to having the drugs for sale or supply on Ballyfermot Road, Cole Park Road and his home on April 23, 2019.

Judge Pauline Codd remanded King on continuing bail and adjourned sentencing to January 29, next. She ordered an updated probation report and urine analysis for that date after acknowledging that King told gardaí he had been taking cannabis himself after he injured his back.

Detective Garda Val Russell told Eoghan Cole BL, prosecuting, that King’s partner’s home in Cherry Orchard in Dublin was under surveillance when gardaí saw him leave the house in a Nissan Qashqai and drive to his own home on Cole Park Road.

He was later spotted taking a large bag from a black jeep parked at his home and placing that in the Qashqai. King then drove to Ballyfermot Road where he parked up. Within minutes a taxi pulled up opposite the Qashqai, two passengers got out and took the bag from the vehicle.

Det Gda Russell said the men returned to the taxi and pulled off. King also left but gardaí intercepted and stopped both vehicles moments later. One of the taxi passengers fled but the second man was arrested.

King was also arrested. The bag held five kilogrammes of cannabis valued at €102,000. A follow up search of the jeep parked at King’s home revealed a further 29 Kg of cannabis valued at €590,000 and a further 209 grammes of cocaine, valued at €15,000.

Det Gda Russell said Stg£6,900 and €800 in cash was found in King’s home along with a small quantity of cannabis.

King was interviewed three times and ultimately made admissions to “possessing the drugs for the purpose of sale or supply”.

Det Gda Russell said a small amount of cannabis was found on King’s person during interview and he told gardaí, he was due to “meet a fella with a sample to let him see what it is like”.

He refused to answer some questions put to him by gardaí because he said he was concerned for his own safety but he accepted that he owned the money.

Det Gda Russell confirmed that King previously received a suspended sentence for robbery.

He agreed with Seamus Clarke SC, defending that King co-operated with the garda investigation.

Det Gda Russell accepted that King gave an account of how he became involved, that he started to use cocaine after he received a serious injury to his back. He got into debt and got involved to pay off his debt.

He further accepted that King was out on sick leave at the time of his arrest and now has arrears on his mortgage.

Mr Clarke said King was a father of five children with another baby due soon. He asked for the case to be adjourned to allow for the preparation of a report from the Probation Service.

“He is happy to engage with the Probation Service and is anxious to do so, so he can put his best foot forward,” Mr Clarke said.

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