Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Sonya McLean

A man who was caught by gardaí handing over cannabis to a street dealer has been jailed for two and half years after a further amount of drugs, worth over €70,000, was found in his home.

Alex Campbell (29), of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to having drugs for sale or supply at his then home in Custom House Square, Dublin 1, on May 14th, 2021. He has one previous conviction for possession of drugs.

Garda Brian O’Connell said he stopped Campbell in a taxi after he saw a suspected drug transaction in which Campbell handed over a paper bag to a man, who in turn handled him a bundle of cash.

When stopped, Campbell had €835 in his hand and a further €150 in his pocket. The other man was stopped and 263g of cannabis, valued at €5,274, was found in the paper bag.

Campbell was arrested and brought to Pearse Street Garda station where a small bag containing 8.6g of cannabis, valued at €172, was found on him.

During an interview, he claimed he was homeless, but gardaí later established he had been living in an apartment in the city centre. A subsequent search of the apartment led to the discovery of a large amount of cannabis contained in four bags, valued at €65,442.

A further bag of cannabis, valued at €6,500, was found in the living room and €7,055 in cash was found in a kitchen cupboard, along with a weighing scales and bagging materials.

Campbell was arrested again and took ownership of the larger amount of cannabis found in the bedroom. He said he was holding the drugs.

Drug distributor

Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, told Judge Martin Nolan that his client had been holding the drugs to clear a debt. He accepted that Campbell was also a distributor of drugs to street dealers.

He said Campbell came from a dysfunctional family home and left school at 16.

“He has huge regret for what he did. He blames his substance abuse on it and wants to get help to combat his addiction,” Mr Dwyer said.

A psychologist report before the court said he had been diagnosed with ADHD and counsel said he is currently in accommodation provided by the Peter McVerry Trust and is doing well.

Judge Nolan accepted that while Campbell was “not at the very lowest level (of drug dealing), he was close to it”.

He accepted that he had pleaded guilty, co-operated with the garda investigation and has various challenges in his life.

“He was a mature man who involved himself,” Judge Nolan said before accepting that Campbell owed money to people “who are not the most forgiving”.

The judge jailed Campbell for two and half years.

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