Jailed man who claims to have 46,000 euros in drugs due to threats

A Dublin man who said he had more than €46,000 worth of drugs because he was under threat has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

In March 2021, gardaí from the Clontarf Drug Unit were investigating drug trafficking in the Baldoyle area when they received information that led them to apply for a search warrant.

Garda Robert Collins of Clontarf Garda Station told the court that on 3 March gardaí carried out a search of James Cullen’s home in Moyclare Close, Baldoyle. During the search, €46,000 in cannabis herb, €1,799 in cocaine and €9,495 in cash were seized. A scale and a Taser were also found in the home.

Gda Collins told Aideen Collard, BL, Prosecutor, that Cullen (33) was not present at the time of the search but had arranged to attend Clontarf Garda Station by appointment for an interview.

The court heard that Cullen fully admitted his involvement. He said that he was holding back the drugs and would sometimes cut them off to supply them. He said that the cocaine was for his personal use and that he was addicted to cocaine.

He said he found the taser on the street. At the time of the crime, Cullen lived on the property with his mother and his brother, but now lives in housing for the homeless.

Gardaí accepted that Cullen was not selling the drugs, but was being used to store the drugs and that threats had been made against him and his family. Cullen has two prior convictions.

Giollaíosa O Lideadha, SC, defending, told the court that her client had fully admitted his involvement in the crime, but could not offer information to the Gardaí about the origin of the drugs out of fear.

Gda Collins agreed that Cullen cooperated with gardaí and has not come to the attention of gardaí since this incident. She also agreed that Cullen had the drugs under threat.

The court heard that Cullen had a difficult upbringing and suffered from mild mental health issues.

Judge Martin Nolan stated that the court has the discretion to set aside the ten-year mandatory minimum sentence for this crime if mitigating circumstances are present. He said the defendant’s early admission and guilty plea would be considered.

Judge Nolan also noted the defendant’s limited prior sentences and the difficult life he has had. He sentenced Cullen to three and a half years in prison.

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