Grzegorz Jacniak pictured following his arrest last year
HUNDREDS of cannabis plants at various stages of growth were seized by gardai who raided a number of “grow-houses” across West Limerick, a court has heard.
Details of the operation, which involved around 50 gardai, emerged last week during a sentencing hearing at Limerick Circuit Court.
Grzegorz Jacniak, aged 40, who has an address at Market Court, Newcastle West has pleaded guilty to four charges relating to offences at a house at Coolagowan, Castletown Conners and at Arra View, Newcastle West.
In her evidence, Garda Claire Hanrahan said the searches were conducted on February 4, 2015 after confidential information was received in relation to one of the grow-houses.
She told Michael Collins BL, prosecuting, that 375 plants were seized at the house at Coolagowan which had been adapted.
She said additional lighting, heating and ventilation had been installed and that in addition to the plants, a large amount of cannabis was located in a chest freezer at the house while a smaller quantity was found in the defendant’s car.
A further 142 cannabis plants were seized during a follow-up search of a house at Arra View, Newcastle West which had been rented by Mr Jacniak a number of months earlier.
It was accepted that following his arrest, the defendant made full admissions and indicated that he would be pleading guilty.
Garda Hanrahan said during interview he described “in detail” his role in the operation and admitted that more than €10,000 had been spent adapting the two houses.
Judge Tom O’Donnell was told the operation was a “sophisticated commercial operation” and that the defendant admitted he had intended selling the drugs “for commerical gain”.
Mark Nicholas BL, defending, said the father-of-three, who has been living in Ireland for some time, cooperated fully with gardai and immediately took responsibility for the drugs, which had a street value of more than €200,000.
He said Mr Jacniak’s family have returned to Poland since his arrest and that his client already has an offer of work for after his release such is the the quality of his work as a mechanic.
Adjourning the matter to July, Judge Tom O’Donnell commented that the operation was “as sophisticated an operation as I’ve seen”.
A bench warrant was previously issued for the arrest of Mr Jacniak’s co-accused - Artur Pietrziak – after the court was told he had “disappeared” and could not be located.