Sniffer dog helps Limerick gardai find hidden drugs

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Judge Carroll Moran commended the fortitude of the school teacher
A SOUTHILL man who admitted storing large quantities of cannabis at his home was sentenced to two years imprisonment.

A SOUTHILL man who admitted storing large quantities of cannabis at his home was sentenced to two years imprisonment.

During a sentencing hearing at Limerick Circuit Court, Judge Carroll Moran was told that almost 665 gramms of the drugs, worth €13,284, were seized at a house in O’Malley Park on July 10, 2012.

Gerard Wallace, aged 42, who was living at the house with his father pleaded guilty to possession of the drugs for the purpose of sale or supply.

Detective Garda Conor McNamara said a search warrant was obtained after gardai received confidential information that drugs were being stored at the house.

He told the court that small quantities of cannabis were found in a jam jar and inside a wooden cigar box, while two silver weighing scales and plastic bags were found in a poker chip box.

Det Garda McNamara told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that a garda sniffer dog named Chip was deployed during the search and that he alerted gardai to a larger quantity of cannabis, which was concealed behind a timber panel under the kitchen sink.

Following his arrest, the defendant took responsibility for the drugs.

Michael Collins BL, defending, said his client, who has no previous convictions, had been “used” by a “serious criminal gang” to whom he owed money.

“He was taken advantage of” he said adding that Mr Wallace had “not been on the garda radar” prior to the discovery of the drugs.

Imposing sentence, Judge Carroll Moran said the defendant’s admissions in the case had been significant but he said an aggravating factor was the substantial quantity of drugs seized.

The judge noted that Mr Wallace was not the owner of the drugs but said storemen were “essential cogs” in the drug dealing business.

He said the courts have a duty to deal with such cases appropriately and therefore he could not avoid imposing a prison sentence.

He imposed a two year prison sentence and ordered the destruction of the drugs.