A MAN who admitted transporting almost €80,000 worth of black market prescription tablets from Dublin to Castleconnell has been jailed for two years.
Keith Connolly, aged 28, of Unit 2, Edenmore Shopping Centre, Raheny, Dublin was a passenger in a car which was stopped by gardai at the entrance to the Castle Oaks Hotel on November 13, 2011,
During a sentencing hearing, Limerick Circuit Court was told that 29,530 Xanax pills and 9,610 valium tablets were found in a black plastic bag which was hidden under his seat.
Garda David Boland told the court the tablets seized had a total street value of €79,080.
John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, told the court there was a black market for such tablets, which are known as “uppers and downers”, among drug addicts.
Garda Boland said Connolly, who pleaded guilty to having the drugs for sale or supply, had brought them to Limerick by train before taking a taken a taxi to the hotel.
He said he “co-operated fully” with gardai following his arrest and he provided officers with PIN numbers for his phone so that records could be analysed.
These revealed “continuous contact” between Connolly and a 30-year-old co-accused - Brian Scanlon, a Cork native with an address at Castle View, Newcastle West. Scanlon was sentenced to five years in prison last July for his role in the incident.
Garda Boland agreed with Mr O’Sullivan that Connolly’s role was “of a lesser nature than that of Mr Scanlon”.
Imposing sentence this Wednesday, Judge Carroll Moran said possession of such a large quantity of drugs was an aggravating factor but he acknowledged that Connolly had had a lesser involvement by a “considerable degree” in the offence.
Given the defendant’s guilty plea, his co-operation with gardai and his minor role in the offence, he said it would be “unjust” to impose the minimum mandatory sentence of ten years in prison.