herald

Sunday 19 November 2017

Jailed drugs baron may have 'nest egg' seized by the State

EVIL: Dealer made his money from cocaine

The financial "nest egg" of a jailed Dublin inner city drug dealer could eventually end up in State coffers.

Robert Harrison (46) was a key figure in the drugs network in the city and was publicly identified as a major player by anti-drugs campaigner and Dublin Central Independent TD, the late Tony Gregory.

A 12-year sentence given to him in 2006 was praised by Mr Gregory, who said Harrison had preyed on vulnerable people to build up his lucrative operation.

This conviction arose after he was caught with a substantial amount of cocaine within three months of being released from jail having served five years following a previous drugs conviction.

Next month, an application for a confiscation order in respect of Harrison is being brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Court of Criminal Appeal.

On May 26, 2006, a court heard that he had been caught 'red-handed' with cocaine worth €64,000. After the jailing by Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Tony Gregory said he and anti-drug activists welcomed the sentence.

"He was a serious figure in a drugs network in the north inner-city which used more vulnerable young people as pawns in their drug supply activities," he added.







Profit

Harrison admitted having approximately a kilo of cocaine for sale or supply on August 16, 2005 and having €770 worth of cocaine for sale, at Parkgate Street, on the same date.

At that time he had a string of previous convictions, including the five-year drug dealing sentence imposed on February 20, 2002.

Evidence was given in the earlier trial that he told gardai he made €32,500 in profit from the sale of cocaine in a six-month period 10 years ago.

He then had an address at North Clarence Street, in the inner city. Two days before his arrest Harrison bought a BMW for €38,500.

He also had three bank accounts and a mortgage of €135,000 on a house at Rafter's Lane in Crumlin.

The Circuit Criminal Court was told by Det Garda Mark Jordan that Harrison was arrested as he left a flat on Dunne Street in Dublin city centre carrying three plastic shopping bags. He had been specifically targeted as part of a surveillance operation.

He tried to get rid of five one-gram deals of coke, from his trouser waistband during a search at Store Street Garda Station where he was also found to have €3,500 cash in his pockets. Cocaine concealed in the flat was found to have a street value of €12,500.

cmallon@herald.ie

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