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Garda's son ran €138k drug factory from his garage

A young man from a family of gardai could face a long jail term when he is sentenced for operating a cocaine factory from his garage.

Arthur Conroy (25), of Violet Hill, Glasnevin, was caught with €138,000 worth of the drug along with mixing agents, a hydraulic press, weighing scales and moulds.

Judge Donagh McDonagh remanded him in custody until sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court next June.

The court heard his father and grandfather were gardai and his cousin is a serving member.

Detective Garda Neil Cameron told Tony McGillicuddy, prosecuting, that gardai were worried about the safety of Conroy and his family after Conroy assisted in the investigation following his arrest.

Conroy admitted possession of 18,000 grammes of cocaine in a garage beside his home on September 11, 2009. He has no previous convictions, except for a minor road traffic offence.

Det Garda Cameron said a garda was on patrol in the area when he saw a taxi stop outside the garage.

A man got out of the car wearing latex gloves and put a bag in a skip. Shortly after, Conroy came out of the garage and brought the bag inside.

A warrant was obtained and a garda search team arrived later that day.

Conroy and another man were arrested at the scene and taken for interview. Conroy made full admissions and said he was contacted by a person who said they wanted to use the equipment in his garage to process the cocaine.

Det Garda Cameron said Conroy had built up debts and had got involved with drugs to pay them off. He had acted as a guarantor on a house loan for his brother, who was then killed in a motorcycle accident.

Isobel Kennedy, defending, said Conroy had a girlfriend and young child and had worked all his adult life.

She said he was on disability benefit as he suffers from severe depression. His brother had died in his arms several years ago following a crash during a motorcycle race.