herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Teen sold cocaine to gardai posing as drug users

A TEEN'S 'drug network' was smashed when he repeatedly sold cocaine to undercover gardai during a sting operation, a court heard.

The youth, who had no prior criminal convictions, pleaded guilty at Dublin Children's Court yesterday to possessing cocaine for supply at three different locations in Dublin city's south side, in February, June and January of this year.

In evidence, Garda Barry Hart told Judge Bryan Smyth that an operation by the Garda National Drugs Unit had been set up to target street dealing.

A 17-year-old was identified after investigating gardai made contact with him on a mobile phone "that was being used by a drug distribution network".

On the first occasion the teen answered the phone and asked the garda "What would you like?", to which the undercover officer replied, "just rock".

The teen met him 10 minutes later holding a number of packages and said "take your pick", at which the garda handed over €40 for cocaine.

A few weeks later the investigating officers contacted him again and asked for €40 worth of cocaine. They met at a football pitch in south Dublin where the youth asked the officer, "you got the €40?"





Orphan

The garda, who was posing as a drug user, replied "yes", and was handed a bag of white powder, which also transpired to be cocaine.

On the third date, the teen approached two more undercover gardai and asked if they wanted to buy drugs.

"He came back 10 minutes later and said 'that will be €50, it is on the wall'," said the garda.

In mitigation, defence solicitor Maura Kiely told Judge Smyth that her client had a tragic family background. He had been "effectively made an orphan" when his mother died and at around the same time his father received a lengthy prison sentence.

He also become separated from siblings who were now living in the UK, while he lived with a grandparent.

Ms Kiely said that at the time of the drug seizures, the boy was in a "state of despair," had been heavily abusing alcohol and cannabis and was "doing nothing at all." She told the court that the youth has now got a place on a training course and was trying to stay out of trouble.

Judge Smyth said that there was no excuse and adjourned the case until a date in November for a pre-sentence probation report to be furnished.

hnews@herald.ie

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