Six years for man caught with €1.36m of drugs in van
A Dublin man who was caught transporting more than €1.36m of drugs following a garda surveillance operation has been jailed for six years.
Jason Hughes (35) is one of four men who have been jailed by Judge Martin Nolan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for their various roles in the drug dealing operation.
The men were caught through an investigation led by the Garda National Drugs Unit during which €3.5m of drugs, as well as guns and ammunition, were seized.
Hughes, of Castlefield Park, Clonsilla, Dublin, pleaded guilty to possession of €757,280 of cannabis resin and €603,000 of MDMA on Park Avenue, Castleknock, on April 17, 2014. He had no previous convictions.
Detective Garda Darragh O'Toole told Cathleen Noctor BL, prosecuting, that a surveillance operation was initially set up by the Garda National Drugs Unit in a business park in Finglas following a garda tip-off.
Hughes was observed driving a van that had been under surveillance.
He was later stopped, the vehicle was searched and almost 38kg of vacuum-packed cannabis resin and 60,000 MDMA tablets were found in the back.
Hughes told gardai he did not know what was in the van and claimed he had only been asked to collect the vehicle.
He said he was doing it for "Russians and Travellers".
During interview, Hughes said he was picking up the van and dropping it off for another individual.
He claimed he owed this man money for a car and that was how he "got roped into it".
Det Gda O'Toole said gardai did not accept Hughes's explanation and were satisfied his role in the operation was to transport the drugs for some sort of reward.
Judge Nolan said Hughes was part of a large drug dealing operation.
"I have to infer that no person would take this up without expectation of reward," the judge added, before he jailed Hughes for six years.