Caught stashing €114k worth of heroin in hoover

By Anne Sharkey

A young father-of-three who was caught stashing €114,478 worth of heroin in a Henry Hoover he had in a garden shed will be sentenced later this year.

Alan Cox (31) from Ashwood Park, Clondalkin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cannabis and diamorphine at his home on July 22, 2019.

Dublin Criminal Courts of Justice 2 October 2016

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Garda Ciaran O’Neill told Antonia Boyle, BL prosecuting, that on July 16 of last year, he went to the accused man’s house and his partner answered the door.

When asked if there were any drugs on the premises, she said her partner may have some weed.

She told gardai that her children were asleep upstairs and telephoned the accused, who confirmed that there was a small bit of weed in his wardrobe.

A quantity of cannabis was found along with drug paraphernalia.

Following a search of a shed at the rear of the property, a quantity of heroin was found in a Henry vacuum cleaner.

Gardai also found plastic bags, a pink grinder, €900 in cash, a tick list, plastic cut-offs, weighing scales and latex gloves.

When Cox returned to his home he was arrested and cautioned. In an interview with gardai, he refused to comment, saying that he owned the cannabis and nothing else.

Forensic Science Ireland confirmed that there was 69.984g of cannabis and 817.17g of diamorphine.

The diamorphine was valued at €114,478 and the cannabis was found to be worth €1,400 with a combined value of €115,878.

The accused man’s DNA matched that of the gloves found.

The court heard that the accused has three previous convictions including two for misuse of drugs and another for threatening or abusive behaviour.

Garda O’Neill told Fiona Murphy, BL defending, that Cox had returned home when gardai had requested him to.

The accused has a history of employment having worked for more than six years with a medical supply company while also volunteering throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

While Cox had told gardai that he was holding the drugs to cancel a drug debt, Garda O’Neill said he believed that accused man’s involvement was more than just “holding onto them”.

The court heard that the accused is battling with a benzodiazepine and cannabis addiction and that he was in fear for his safety and that of his family when he had been asked to store the drugs.

Judge Pauline Codd asked if it was fair to say that Cox was in fear and Garda O’Neill said it was difficult to say, as the accused knew the people involved “pretty well”.

Judge Codd adjourned sentencing until March 22 to allow for a probation report to be furnished.

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