Charge against man found with €17k of ecstasy dropped due to drugs loophole

Darren Snee (Pic: Facebook)
Darren Snee (Pic: Facebook)

The Director of Public Prosecutions has withdrawn a charge against a man caught with over €17,000 worth of ecstasy in light of Tuesday’s Court of Appeal judgement.

Darren Snee (25) pleaded guilty on Tuesday to possession of the drug for sale or supply hours before the appeal court issued its judgement which ruled that a range of drugs including ecstasy were legal as they were unconstitutionally banned by the government.

The drugs concerned are now illegal again after emergency legislation was rushed through the Oireachtas.

Snee still faces sentence later this month for possession for sale or supply of cannabis worth €819 and cocaine valued at €399. Both of these drugs were unaffected by the ruling.

Snee of Oak Court Close, Palmerstown, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cocaine, cannabis and MDMA, otherwise known as ecstasy, for sale or supply at his home on November 18, 2013.

After the guilty plea on Tuesday Judge Martin Nolan remanded Snee in custody pending sentence. When Snee’s defence counsel Pieter Le Vert BL heard about the appeal court ruling over lunch he made an application for his release which was denied by the judge.

Today counsel for the prosecution asked Judge Nolan to vacate Snee’s guilty plea to the ecstasy charge and to withdraw this count.

The judge consented but reaffirmed his decision to continue to remand Snee in custody on the remaining two counts.

“I was very much aware of the judgement. But that didn’t change my mind as I was 99 per cent sure what I was going to do in the case. And I think Mr Le Vert was aware of what I was going to do.”

He will pass sentence on Snee on March 27, next.

On Tuesday Detective Garda John McWeeney said that Snee was seen handing cannabis to known drug users outside his house in Palmerstown.

A search of the house found six bags of cocaine and a bag of rock cocaine hidden in a can of Coors Light in Snee’s wardrobe.

A further 24 deals of cannabis herb was found in his wardrobe while €2,260 in cash was found hidden under his bed. A digital weighing scales was located beside his bed and a black drum was found outside his bedroom window which contained 19 bags of MDMA.

Snee said he was holding the drugs for someone else as he owed them money. He said the cannabis was for his own use.

He claimed the cash was birthday and Christmas money and that the person wanted him to store the drugs and it wasn’t about the money.

Snee has a previous conviction for burglary.

Mr Le Vert said Snee, who is a boxing coach at Palmerstown Boxing Club and a shift worker at Tesco, is still using cannabis but a lot less of it now. He said he wants to study architecture and is heavily involved in sports such as boxing and cycling and that he is a “man with prospects.”