herald

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Sting grabs garda and supplier in possession of cocaine worth €800

A garda and his suspected drug supplier have been arrested after a sting operation -- in possession of cocaine worth hundreds of euro.

The officer is based in Dublin's G District -- covering Crumlin and Sundrive Road Garda Stations -- and was caught with 10 grammes of cocaine, with a street value of around €800.

The officer's arrest came after an investigation by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, following intelligence that he was involved in illegal drugs.

He was arrested after being observed at a meeting with a criminal in Finglas yesterday morning.

Officers arrested the men and carried out a search and discovered the cocaine.

The garda was detained under Section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act and taken for questioning to Kevin Street Garda Station, where he was still being held last night about alleged possession of cocaine.

The garda's locker, his home and the home of his suspected supplier were all searched in follow-up investigations.

His suspected supplier was arrested and is being questioned at Store Street Garda Station. Both men can be held without charge for up to seven days.

The garda has been suspended from the force pending the outcome of the inquiries.

Sources believe that the garda in question is suffering from a cocaine addiction but do not believe the cocaine in his possession was intended for his own use.

The investigation is being led by Det Supt John McMahon, from the Dublin metropolitan headquarters at Harcourt Square.

The suspect has been monitored for some time by the Garda Internal Affairs unit, it is understood. The unit specifically deals with accusations that gardai are involved in criminality or corruption.





Terminated

It is separate from the Independent Garda Ombudsman Commission, which investigates complaints by members of the public against gardai, not internal garda matters.

In the likely event that the garda is charged, he will almost certainly have his employment with the force terminated.

The investigation is still ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact gardai.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) warned last year at its annual conference that members could be open to corruption given the fall in their take-home pay.

PJ Stone, general secretary of the GRA, said international experience showed that low-paid forces are susceptible to "being got at".

"There is always the likelihood -- and it has been proved in other countries where you pay police forces at a rate of pay that puts them in a vulnerable place -- that there is a risk of people being got at and that's a fact of life," he said.

It is not the first time that gardai have found themselves in hot water over association with the drugs industry in Dublin.

One garda was dismissed last year after he gave confidential information to associates of murdered gangland boss Eamon Dunne.

hnews@herald.ie

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