A BALLYNANTY man who was caught carrying a quantity of heroin while on bail in relation to separate drugs charges has received an additional prison sentence.
James O’Keefe, aged 22, of Moylish Crescent was one of three men who were jailed earlier this year after they were caught at a “heroin processing factory” on the outskirts of Moyross on October 15, 2010.
O’Keefe and another man were each sentenced to three years in prison after Limerick Circuit Court was told they were “penny boys” and “pawns” in the operation.
The owner of the drugs, John McCarthy, 41, of Cliona Park, Moyross was sentenced to 14 years in prison for possession of the drugs, which had a street value of €145,000.
During a sentencing hearing in relation to O’Keefe’s most recent offence, Det Garda Eileen Ryan, of the divisional drugs unit said she observed the defendant and another man acting suspiciously while on patrol at College Avenue, Moyross on August 17, 2011.
She said O’Keefe dropped a plastic bag containing heroin worth €1,018.35 as he ran away from the scene.
The other man was not before the courts, she said.
Brian McInerney BL said his client was not the owner of the drugs and Det Garda Ryan agreed that O’Keefe was “naive and easily led”.
Det Garda Ryan said the offence was at “a very low level” in and that there was no forensic evidence linking the defendant to the drugs seized last year.
Judge Carroll Moran said it was an aggravating factor that O’Keefe has been caught with heroin while on bail in relation to the earlier seizure
He imposed a two-and-a-half year prison sentence but suspended the final two years for seven years.
The sentence will commence when O’Keefe’s current prison sentence ends in April 2014.