A MOYROSS man has been jailed for fourteen years for his role in a heroin bagging operation on the outskirts of Limerick city.
John McCarthy, 41, of Cliona Park, Moyross was convicted last month of possession of the drugs, worth €145,000, for sale or supply on October 15, 2010.
The drugs were discovered by gardai, supported up by the armed Regional Support Unit, in an area known as the ‘Four Walls’, close to Moyross following a “stake-out”.
The covert operation was led by Supt Jim Ryan after Det Sgt Ronan McDonagh received confidential information that drug trafficking may have been taking place in the area.
Almost a kilogramme of the drugs were recovered along with other drug-dealing paraphernalia including weighing scales, wrapping tape and resealable plastic bags.
It was the prosecution case that McCarthy, who is known as “Fat John”, and two other men were dividing up the heroin into smaller pieces for distribution on the streets of Limerick.
During a sentencing hearing this afternoon, Det Sgt Alan Cullen of the divisional drugs unit, said Mr McCarthy was the owner of the drugs and he told the court he was organising “the manipulation and proposed distribution” of the heroin.
Brian McCartney QC said his client, who suffers from ill health, does not lead the lavish lifestyle of a “Mr Big” and he said there was no evidence that he is involved in the importation of drugs into this country.
However, Judge Carroll Moran said it could be inferred that McCarthy had the financial resources to buy the “large consignment” of heroin and he said he was satisfied he was acting on his own for financial gain.
The judge imposed a fourteen year prison sentence, which he backdated to May 22, last -the date of McCarthy’s conviction.
Mr McCarthy who sat with his hands clasped throughout the sentencing hearing did not react as the sentence was handed down.
In January, Adam Llewellyn, 20, of Craeval Park, Moyross, and James O’Keeffe, 21, of Moylish Crescent, Ballynanty, each received four year sentences, with the final year suspended for their part in the operation.
Both were described in court as “penny boys” or “pawns” who had been “seduced and lured” by John McCarthy to take part in the bagging operation.