POLITICS

Man jailed for €645k drugs seizure pleads guilty to possession of €50k in criminal profits, court hears

Man jailed for €645k drugs seizure pleads guilty to possession of €50k in criminal profits, court hears


(stock photo)
(stock photo)

A man who allowed others to lodge cheques into his bank account has pleaded guilty to possession of around €50,000 in criminal profits, a court has heard.

Patrick Hannon (48) told gardaí that he built up a very large gambling debt and was told by his debtors he would have to start lodging cheques into his account and then withdrawing the cash shortly afterwards.

Garda John Morrissey told Judge Melanie Greally that the cheques were issued by companies using false aliases, which were closed down once identified. He said the monies involved were linked to criminal activity and the subject of a separate ongoing investigation.

The lodgements came to light after gardaí examined Hannon’s bank account following his arrest in connection with a €645,720 drugs seizure.

Hannon and a co-accused, Patrick Kavanagh, were caught moving just under nine kilograms of MDMA and around 11kg of cannabis herb and resin.

Kavanagh (59) of Ballygall Crescent, Finglas, Dublin and Hannon of Rathvilly Park, Finglas, both pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of amphetamine and cannabis for sale or supply at locations around the capital on August 21, 2017.

Hannon also pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing the proceeds of crime at the AIB bank in Blanchardstown on dates between December 2016 and February 2017.

When gardaí checked his account in August 2017, there was €19,000 sitting in the bank account. Investigations into the previous months revealed the movement of monies in and out of the account.

Garda Morrissey told the court that during a surveillance operation, gardaí intercepted Kavanagh and Hannon moving seven kilogrammes of cannabis from a lock-up at apartments in north Dublin.

A follow up search of the storage unit revealed a further 8.8 kg of MDMA, 3.7kg of cannabis herb and 6.8kg of cannabis resin. Gda Morrissey said all the drugs had a total estimated street value of €645,720.

Judge Melanie Greally said both men were operating at a low level in the criminal hierarchy and neither had any trappings of wealth. She noted both had expressed shame and remorse for their actions.

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She sentenced Kavanagh to four and a half years but suspended the last 18 months. She also suspended the final 18 months on a six-and-a-half year prison term for Hannon.

For the money laundering charges, Judge Greally imposed sentences of three years, to run concurrently.

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