A KILEELY man who admitted possession of cocaine worth more than €60,000 is due to begin a four-year prison sentence later this week.
Mark Butler, 38, of Cregan Avenue, Kileely pleaded guilty to having almost a kilogramme of the drugs for the purpose of sale or supply on May 28, 2011.
Det Garda David Baynham of the divisional drugs unit said gardai searched the home of the accused man at around 3.45pm after they were granted a search warrant.
He told Limerick Circuit Court the defendant was “lying in bed upstairs asleep” when gardai forced their way in and that a “block of cocaine” was found on a bedside locker.
The detective told John O’Sullivan, prosecuting, that a bank card and a rolled up fiver were found on a table downstaors along with “rocks” of white powder.
Other drugs paraphernalia was also found in the house including a digital weighing scales, self-seal plastic bags and €325 in cash.
Judge Carroll Moran was told the street value of the drugs seized at Butler’s home was €62,115,92.
Under cross examination, Det Garda Baynham agreed that Butler was an employee of another man, who was described in court as “Mr X” and he said he said he was not in a position to “confirm or deny” whether Butler was storing the drugs or selling them on behalf of Mr X.
Andrew Sexton SC said his client was “out cold in bed” when gardai arrived as he had taken drugs on the day gardai raided his home.
He said he has a “tragic family history” and that he was “targeted by sinister elements” as he is a drug user.
Mr Sexton said his client lives an “ordinary and moderate life” and that there are no signs of wealth.
Imposing sentence, Judge Carroll Moran said an aggravating factor in the case was that a very large amount of cocaine had been seized.
“Cases like this are to be treated in a very serious manner,” he said.
The judge imposed a four year prison sentence but he agreed to put a stay on the order until 5pm on Wednesday to allow Butler to organise his affairs.
He ordered the destruction of the cocaine and the forfeiture of the cash which was seized from the defendant.