A Dublin 15 man who admitted his involvement in transporting more than €3.4 million worth of cocaine has been jailed for nine years.
Wayne Duffy (46), of Deerhaven Close, Clonee admitted possessing cocaine for sale or supply at B&Q car park, Liffey Valley Shopping Centre on December 6, 2018.
Darren Coughlan (46), of Piercetown, Dunboyne, Co Meath pleaded guilty to the same offence and was handed a six-year sentence.
Bernadus Jozef Scherrenberg, with an address in Zoetermeer, Holland, was sentenced earlier this year to seven years imprisonment for the same offence.
Judge Patricia Ryan told the Circuit Criminal Court that this was a planned and premeditated operation. She noted the value of the drugs and Duffy’s previous convictions for drug offences.
At a previous sentence hearing, Garda Eoghan Byrne said gardai got a tip-off about a large quantity of controlled drugs and a Peugeot car.
A covert surveillance operation was set up around Duffy’s home in Clonee on the day, and gardai followed as Duffy drove the Peugeot to a house in Ratoath and picked up Coughlan.
The pair were then followed to the carpark of B&Q at the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre where they met up with Scherrenberg, who had arrived in a jeep.
Scherrenberg used a B&Q trolley to transport five large plastic tubs from the jeep to the back of the Peugeot. Duffy helped him load the tubs into the back of the car where Coughlan was sitting.
The three men were then arrested, although Scherrenberg attempted to flee and threw his mobile phone away before being caught by gardai. Two additional tubs were discovered in the jeep.
The court heard that each tub was filled with a sand-like substance that concealed blocks of cocaine. The total amount of cocaine weighed 49kg and had a street value of €3,435,000.
The court heard that Duffy, who has 11 previous convictions including three for drugs, had “expressed fear of certain individuals” in relation to a debt.