A 24-year-old man caught with over €37,000 of drugs for sale or supply has been given a six-year suspended sentence for drug dealing.
Before Portlaoise Circuit Court was Sean Moles of Green Park, Dublin 12, charged with an offence under section 15a of the misuse of drugs act.
Garda Ger Doolan gave evidence, along with State barrister, Mr Will Fennelly, that the gardaí monitored a vehicle at the Gandon Inn, Emo near Portlaoise, which met up with another vehicle being driven by a lone male. The two vehicles left the forecourt and went to a country lane, and when they reemerged from the lane the gardaí stopped them and conducted a search.
2.25 kilograms of cannabis herb was found in the boot of one of the vehicles, worth €37,100.
Garda Doolan said a line of inquiry led to the accused, Sean Moules. When arrested, he denied his involvement, and when CCTV footage from the Gandon Inn was shown to him he admitted he had been in the area but said he was just out for a drive.
His phone number matched a call made from the phone of the other driver involved, and his fingerprints were found on one of the bags of drugs.
The accused pleaded guilty before the circuit court last December.
He had no previous convictions.
In sentencing, Judge Keenan Johnson said that aggravating factors including the quantity of drugs involved and the negative impact that the drugs could have caused society.
Mitigating factors included the fact that the accused is now drug-free.
The judge imposed a six-year sentence, suspended for ten years on condition the accused entered into a peace bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for ten years; he engages with counselling and remains drug free; he refrains from taking drugs; and he pays €4,000 to the Block Project in Portlaoise.