Friday, March 10, 2023

Isabel Hayes

A man who was caught smuggling over €650,000 worth of cocaine into the country in shampoo bottles sewn inside his luggage has been jailed for five and a half years.

Jeferson Pedrucci (33), of no fixed abode in Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to one count of possessing the cocaine for sale or supply at Dublin Airport on January 20th, 2022.

Garda Ross Brierley told Edward Doocey BL, prosecuting, that on the day in question Pedrucci and a female companion flew into Dublin from Sao Paolo in Brazil, via Lisbon.

Pedrucci was stopped at customs and his luggage was searched.

Liquid cocaine with a street value of €154,000 was discovered in two shampoo bottles, the court heard.

Another piece of luggage registered to Pedrucci’s companion was also located and cocaine with a street value of nearly €500,000 was found sewn into the bag lining.

The combined total of the drugs seized was €651,875.

Pedrucci took full responsibility for the drugs, the court heard. He is originally from Brazil and has lived in Ireland since 2015, Anne-Marie Lawlor SC, defending, told the court.

He has nine previous convictions, all for road traffic offences.

Ms Lawlor told the court that Pedrucci owed money to loan sharks in Brazil, who made threats to kill him and his family if he did not transport the drugs for them.

When Pedrucci was arrested and the drugs were seized, threats were then made against Pedrucci’s mother and sister, who were living in Brazil at the time.

They have moved to Ireland as a result and were in court to support him.

Ms Lawlor said Pedrucci previously worked as a delivery driver but now works as a fibre optic technician and has excellent employment prospects. She urged Judge Martin Nolan to be as lenient as possible.

Sentencing Pedrucci on Friday, Judge Nolan accepted that he is unlikely to reoffend in the future. However, he noted there was a high value of drugs involved in the case and Pedrucci deserved a prison term.

He handed down a sentence of five and a half years and ordered that the time Pedrucci previously spent in custody be taken into account.

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