money laundering |
Laois driver caught with €11k by drug squad gardaí outside Wexford hotel avoids jail
The court heard that Michael Conroy (35) had been using heroin, cocaine and ecstasy, which led to a drug debt
Yesterday at 16:54
Drug squad gardaí seized more than €11,000 in cash found in a car parked outside the Maldron Hotel in Wexford, the Circuit Court in Wexford was told.
The 2006 Dublin registered Kia Sportage was occupied by 35-year-old Michael Conroy from Borris-in-Ossory, County Laois.
The money in the vehicle came to light as officers were on duty in the area of the hotel on the evening of September 12, 2019.
Detective Leonard Casey and his colleague Stephen Burke felt that the man they observed in the car was acting suspiciously.
They invoked their powers under the Mis-Use of Drugs Act to conduct a search of the Kia.
While no drugs came to light, they did find the cash in the central console beside the driver’s seat.
Conroy was arrested and he adopted a ‘largely no comment attitude’ when formally interviewed.
However, Casey told the court he believed that the money had been collected by the defendant as payment for drugs supplied by a dealer in the Midlands.
The contents of the phone seized from the accused were analysed, turning up messages which appeared to be related to drug dealing.
Also found was an address book which contained mention of someone called ‘T****’ from Enniscorthy and another individual in Wexford.
Detective Casey believed that these were local dealers who had obtained supplies from the person in the Midlands.
The court learned that Conroy had been using heroin, cocaine and ecstasy, which led to a drug debt.
The garda witness accepted that the accused was attempting to pay off this debt when he came to Wexford.
Defending barrister Jordan Fletcher stated that his client was now clean of all such substances and that he was working as a plasterer.
Judge McCourt also took account of the fact that the man before him was father of a four year old child and that he was gainfully employed.
A two year prison sentence for a money laundering offence was suspended in its entirety after the defendant agreed to submit to bi-monthly drug screening for two years.
The cash was declared forfeit to the State.