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Man who says he held €46k of drugs due to threat jailed

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A Dublin man who said he was holding over €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 dealing 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 March 3rd gardaí carried out a search at the home of James Cullen at Moyclare Close, Baldoyle. During the search, €46,000 worth of cannabis herb, €1,799 worth of cocaine and €9,495 in cash were seized. A weighing scales and a taser gun were also found at the house.

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

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

He said he found the taser gun on the street. At the time of the offence, Cullen was living at the property with his mother and brother but now lives in homeless accommodation.

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

Giollaíosa O Lideadha, SC, defending, told the court that his client had fully admitted to his involvement in the crime but was unable to offer gardaí­ information about where the drugs came from out of fear.

Gda Collins agreed that Cullen was cooperative with gardaí­ and has not come to the attention of gardaí­ since this incident. He also agreed that Cullen was holding 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 of departing the mandatory minimum ten-year sentence for this offence if there are mitigating circumstances present. He said the early admission and guilty plea of the accused would be considered.

Judge Nolan also noted the limited previous convictions the accused had and the difficult life he has had. He sentenced Cullen to three and a half years in prison.

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