Teen avoids jail term for dropping off cocaine to pay off drug debt

by Gazette Reporter

By Brion Hoban

A teenager who agreed to drop off almost €100,000 worth of cocaine to pay off a drug debt has been given a three-year suspended sentence.

Dylan Farrell (20) of Croftwood Drive, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at Keeper Road, Drimnagh, on December 18, 2018.

Judge Elma Sheahan had adjourned the case having first heard evidence in July 2019. She had placed Farrell on a six-month probation bond to give him an opportunity to prove he could rehabilitate.

Today, the judge said a Probation Services report before the court concluded that Farrell had made “significant and impressive strides in re-directing his life” and he is now considered to be at a low risk of re-offending.

The judge accepted that Farrell has since engaged with counselling, has secured an apprenticeship, is drug free and has not come to garda attention.

Judge Sheahan suspended a three-year sentence in full on various conditions including that Farrell engage with the Probation Service for two years and follow all their directions.

The judge wished Farrell “every success in his future as a productive member of society” and said she didn’t want him to see him before the courts again.

Garda Damien Quirke told Diana Stuart BL, prosecuting, at the previous sentence hearing in July 2019, that on the date in question gardaí observed a man run over to a taxi stopped at the side of the road and get inside. Gardaí parked their car in front of the taxi and spoke to both men when they got a strong smell of cannabis.

The taxi was searched, and 11 bars of cocaine were found inside a plastic bag. The total value all the cocaine seized was €95,600.

In interview, Farrell told gardaí that he was told to drop something off in exchange for €300. Farrell said he wanted the money so that he could buy himself a jacket at Christmas.

Farrell said he did not know what he was delivering but accepted that he thought it might have been drugs. He has no previous convictions and was aged 18 at the time of the offence.

Gda Quirke agreed with Seamus Clarke SC, defending, that his client told gardaí he had a drug debt of €1,000 which he was trying to pay off. Gda Quirke agreed that Farrell had no concept whatsoever of the true value of the cocaine.

Mr Clarke said Farrell had a “fairly tragic upbringing”. His mother was a drug addict and he went to live with his stepfather when he old enough to make that decision.

Farrell’s stepfather died in 2014 in a motorcycle and he went to live with his grandfather. His grandfather died in 2016 and he moved in with his stepfather’s brother, with whom he still resides today.

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