herald

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Man selling drugs on social media had €7,500 of cannabis

Shane Valentine hid €7,500 of cannabis in a tumble dryer
Shane Valentine hid €7,500 of cannabis in a tumble dryer

A Dublin man operating a drugs business selling thousands of euro worth of cannabis on social media was caught by eagle-eyed gardai, a court has heard.

Shane Valentine admitted having drugs for sale and supply when he appeared before Letterkenny District Court yesterday.

Gda Derek Connaughton was monitoring social media and saw a posting by Valentine (23) selling drugs.

When gardai raided his home in Glenoughty Close, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, on July 19 last year, they found more than €7,500 of cannabis hidden in a false compartment in a tumble dryer.

A further search of the house uncovered €960 in cash, weighing scales and two mature cannabis plants worth €1,600.

Valentine, who is originally from Dublin, has 26 previous convictions for offences including assault, robbery and criminal damage.

He previously pleaded guilty to using a stolen credit card to buy more than €185 worth of pizza at Domino's Pizza in Letterkenny on November 1, 2016.

Homeless

Valentine's solicitor, Frank Dorrian, told the court he had been in care from the ages of three to 17 and had little contact with his biological parents.

He said his client had a partner and a child and had been given an opportunity to distribute cannabis.

Mr Dorrian said Valentine had found himself homeless before this and saw it as an opportunity to get his family "over the line".

"He did not see himself as a major player and got caught very early on," he said.

Mr Dorrian said there had been another raid on Valentine's house but nothing was found. He said he wore this as a badge of honour to show gardai he was now trying to go straight.

Valentine also pleaded guilty to a number of road traffic offences.

Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the case until December 7 for a community service and probation report.

However, he warned Valentine: "Given the facts, it will be very difficult to avoid a custodial sentence, but we will see what we can do."

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