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Teen claimed he 'paid up front' for €100k of heroin

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Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) Dublin

Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) Dublin

Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) Dublin

A then 17-year-old who told gardaí he had paid for over €100,000 worth of heroin upfront and was making a profit of €5,000 in a fortnight will be sentenced next week.

Daniel O'Neill (19) was arrested following garda surveillance of two separate premises. He was caught with €4,000 worth of heroin in his underwear along with a further €36,390 in a shopping bag after gardaí stopped the taxi he was travelling in at the time.

A further search of a premises O'Neill had just left with a co-accused led to the discovery of €65,100 worth of heroin in a compartment under the kitchen sink.

O'Neill, who is living in temporary accommodation with Focus Ireland, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to having the drugs, worth a total of €105,598 and total weight of 704 grammes, for sale or supply at various locations in Dublin 8 on March 5, 2013.

Judge Martin Nolan asked Garda Richard Brennan if gardaí believed O'Neill's claim that he had paid for the drugs.

"In my experience you would need €27,500 to buy these drugs upfront," Gda Brennan said. He said it would be unusual for a person of O'Neill's age and character to have access to such but said he had nothing to prove that what he said was not true.

Gda Brennan agreed with Judge Nolan that he was left with what O'Neill told gardaí, "though it's not very realistic".

The garda agreed with Sean Gillane SC, defending, that officers were surprised about O'Neill's involvement and it was also surprising that he took "significant responsibility" for the drugs.

He accepted that the information gardaí had to set up the initial surveillance didn't relate to O'Neill nor was he on any "garda radar".

Judge Nolan remanded O'Neill on continuing bail until next Monday when he will finalise sentence.

surveillance

Gda Brennan told Lorcan Staines BL, prosecuting, that gardaí set up the surveillance following a tip off.

O'Neill and a co-accused were spotted on three occasions meeting other males during which gardaí suspected drugs were being exchanged.

Gardaí followed the two men to a house on North Circular Road where they stayed for an hour before leaving again in a taxi. This is the taxi O'Neill was later stopped in.

He was arrested and admitted in interview that all the drugs were his for sale or supply. He said he would earn about €5,000 in profit after two weeks.

hnews@herald.ie


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