14 Aug 2022

Jail for father of five caught moving over €700k worth of drugs

Jail for father of five caught moving over €700k worth of drugs

A father-of-five who was caught with over €700,000 worth of drugs has been jailed for seven years.

Darren King (34) of Cole Park rd, Ballyfermot, Dublin, pleaded guilty to having cannabis and cocaine for sale or supply on Ballyfermot rd., Cole Park rd. and at his home on April 23, 2019.

Sentencing him on Friday, Judge Pauline Codd noted King had been involved in dealing and distributing drugs and that the Probation Service had placed him at a moderate risk of reoffending.

Another aggravating factor was the high value of the drugs involved, the judge said.

Detective Garda Val Russell told the court that King's partner's home in Cherry Orchard in Dublin was under surveillance and gardaí observed Cole driving from there to his own home and later meeting two men with a bag containing over €100,000 worth of cannabis.

Follow up searches of a jeep parked at King's home revealed cannabis with an estimated street value of nearly €600,000 and cocaine, valued at €15,000. During a follow up search of King's home £6,900 Sterling and €800 in cash was also found along with a small quantity of cannabis.

King was interviewed three times and ultimately admitted to “possessing the drugs for the purpose of sale or supply”.

Det Gda Russell said a small amount of cannabis was found on King's person during interview and he told gardaí that he was due to “meet a fella with a sample to let him see what it is like”.

He refused to answer some questions put to him by gardaí because he said he was concerned for his own safety but he accepted that he owned the money. He has a previous conviction for robbery.

The court heard King told gardaí that he started to use cocaine after he received a serious injury to his back. He got into debt and got involved to pay off his debt.

He further accepted that King was out on sick leave at the time of his arrest and now has arrears on his mortgage.

Seamus Clarke SC, defending, said King was a father of five children with another baby due soon.

Additional Evidence

Det Gda Russell previously told Eoghan Cole BL, prosecuting, that King's partner's home in Cherry Orchard in Dublin was under surveillance when gardaí saw him leave the house in a Nissan Qashqai and drive to his own home on Cole Park Road.

He was later spotted taking a large bag from a black jeep parked at his home and placing that in the Qashqai. King then drove to Ballyfermot Road where he parked up.

Within minutes a taxi pulled up opposite the Qashqai, two passengers got out and took the bag from the vehicle. Det Gda Russell said the men returned to the taxi and pulled off.

King also left but gardaí intercepted and stopped both vehicles moments later. One of the taxi passengers fled but the second man was arrested.

King was also arrested. The bag held five kilogrammes of cannabis valued at €102,000. A follow-up search of the jeep parked at King's home revealed a further 29kg of cannabis valued at €590,000 and a further 209 grammes of cocaine, valued at €15,000.

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