Dad told storing €2.3m of cannabis would help pay his rent, court hears
A FATHER-of-one who allowed his home to be used to store over €2.3m of cannabis in return for the rent being paid on the property has been jailed for six-and-a-half years.
Brendan Mangan (43), of Wellington Walk, Mornington Park, Co Meath, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the drugs for sale or supply at the house on March 7, 2014.
Mangan had separated from his wife and although he had been living with his sister, he needed his own home so that his teenage son could stay with him at weekends.
He was approached by a man who suggested to him that the rent could be paid on a house for him if, in return, he allowed packages to be stored there.
Mangan agreed to the proposal and the deposit and a month's rent was paid for a house in Tonlegee Road, in Coolock, Dublin.
He later advertised a room for sublet in his local shop after he was advised to do so to make the set-up look more legitimate. Judge Martin Nolan said "parties became aware of Mangan's situation and took advantage".
He accepted that Mangan was on the lower rung of the ladder, but said he had unfortunately succumbed to temptation.
Garda Joe McBride told the prosecution that gardai were investigating drug dealing in the Coolock area and had the house on Tonlegee Road under surveillance when they spotted a man load up three packages into a car having taken them out of the house.
Three packages, containing over 24kg of cannabis worth an estimated €498,000, were later found in the car.
The man driving this car has since absconded and has never been charged.
A follow-up search of the house led to the discovery of 10 boxes of cannabis and a number of false driving licenses. These had a street value of over €1.85m.
Mangan was arrested and interviewed during which he explained the set up to gardai and confirmed that he worked for a serious drug gang for money.
He accepted that he took instructions from them knowing it was illegal and said he had also been provided with a false driving license which he had used to rent a lock up in Drumcondra.
Gda McBride agreed with the defence that the driver is presumed to be aboard.