Prison for manwho hid stolen tablets in pants
A former employee at a pharmaceutical company has been jailed for one year for stealing the firm's version of Rohypnol to offset a drug debt.
Gardai with confidential information arrested Gary Byrne (41) on his way from work and discovered the drug in his car.
Det Gda Robert Rawl told the court that father-of-three Byrne said he took the bag of drugs to help pay off a €1,500 drug debt.
He was re-arrested when his employers realised he had been stealing over the previous two years. He then admitted his debt was closer to €10,000.
Byrne, of Belcamp Gardens, Darndale, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to six charges of stealing tablets including Flunitrazepam between June 2010 and July 2011.
He also admitted having more than 1,200 tablets worth €2,546 in his car as he left work at Gerard Laboratories, Baldoyle Industrial Estate, on January 5, 2012.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring noted that a Probation Service report put Byrne at moderate risk of re-offending. She imposed a three-year sentence with the final two years suspended.
Det Gda Rawl said the drugs can be used as sleeping tablets or anti-depressants and also "help people come down off cocaine".
He told Tony McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, that Byrne said he had twice gone into the compression room where the drugs were converted from fine powder into tablets and taken a container in January, 2012.
Det Gda Rawl said Byrne was re-arrested on January 20, 2012 when the company reviewed CCTV footage from 2010 and 2011. It was noted that the ex-employee's swipe card had accessed the compression room on certain dates.
Byrne admitted he would go into the room, scoop up the tablets and return to his area. He would then put the drugs in a bag and carry it through security in his underwear.
Det Gda Rawl agreed with Michael O'Higgins SC, defending, that his client was co-operative during the investigation and his early guilty plea had been of great assistance.
The detective said that three other workers were convicted for stealing drugs from the factory in 2005. He said one of these people received 240 hours community service in lieu of two years in prison for theft of drugs worth €42,000.