Monday, November 07, 2022

Eoin Ryan and Declan Brennan

A former British Army officer found in possession of nearly €250,000 worth of cocaine has been jailed for five and a half years.

Darragh Dodrill (27) of Yewlands Terrace, Terenure Rd North, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of drugs for sale or supply at Kilwarden Court, Boot Road, Clondalkin on February 25th, 2021.

Garda Liam Dever told the court that as part of a surveillance operation gardaí observed Dodrill parked alongside a van in a car park at Kilwarden Court.

Dodrill told gardaí about the cocaine when confronted and was seen to be unwell during their search. During a search of the van, gardaí found cocaine with an estimated street value of €242,000.

The court heard Dodrill was €8,000 in debt and began drug dealing to pay this off, but this increased to €50,000 by the time he was arrested in 2021. The accused was paid in cocaine for supplying drugs, most of which he said were used by himself, the court heard.

Cathleen Noctor SC, defending, told the court her client would spend between €1,000 and €1,500 a week on cocaine. The court heard he also suffers from a gambling addiction which further increased his debt.

Gambling addiction

Judge Melanie Greally noted that Dodrill had developed drug and gambling addictions at a young age and he amassed very significant debts. She said that he became involved in this offending because of this debt and fear of potential reprisals for his family.

The accused told Gardai he was living in “a head above water situation” due to the large debt he owed and barely had enough money to get by. He admitted during a garda interview to selling small quantities of cocaine and transporting larger amounts to other dealers.

Ms Noctor told the court the accused was formerly in the British army and said in an interview he quit a good job due to drug demands and the debt he owed.

She told the court that Dodrill acted as an amateur compared to other dealers and that he admitted to being up there with “the dumbest drug dealers” during a garda interview.

Judge Melanie Greally noted this was not the most sophisticated role but was done over a long duration, and a significant amount of cocaine was found in his possession.

She noted that he has strong family support and has taken positive steps to deal with his addictions. She noted that he acted with an element of fear which held him in “the trap” he had created for himself.

She suspended the final two years of a seven-and-a-half year prison term on condition that Dodrill engage with addiction services.

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