Chinese nation jailed for eight-years after being caught with cannabis
A Chinese national who was caught with over €70,000 worth of cannabis after accepting the package from a garda posing as DHL employee has been given an eight year sentence.
Peng Fei He (33) of Little Mary Street, Dublin , also later took responsibility for a second package, containing a further €70,000 worth of the drug. His phone number had been found on the details of this other delivery.
He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the drugs, just over 7kg worth an estimated €141,920, for sale or supply on November 13, 2015. He has three previous convictions for road traffic offences and has been in custody since his arrest.
Judge Pauline Codd noted that he had been living in squalid conditions and that he said he had a €5,000 gambling debt. She said she would give him the benefit of the doubt that he was not the main beneficiary and that it seemed he acted mainly for financial motives with some element of fear.
Judge Codd imposed an eight year sentence and suspended the final two years.
Garda Christopher Sweeney told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that custom officials intercepted both packages. A garda posing as a DHL employee then tried to deliver the first package to an address in Clonsilla, Dublin.
The door was not answered and when he called the phone number on the package it went straight to a message minding service.
He attempted to deliver the second package to an address in Dublin 7 and again the door was not answered.
He rang the number associated with this package and Fei He answered. He said he would meet him later to pick up the package. Fei He then returned the call from the garda in relation to the delivery of the first package.
Fei He arranged to meet the garda a couple of hours later. When he arrived he directed the garda to put the package in his boot and signed the delivery documents.
The car he was driving was stopped by other gardaí minutes later. He claimed he had pornography DVDs in the boot and said he was to earn €200 to collect them.
He was interviewed a number of times and claimed he had been put under threat to collect the package because he owed €5,000 in a gambling debt.
Fei He eventually admitted that he had arranged the two separate mobile numbers and had bought the SIM cards for them. He said he had picked the addresses randomly using Google maps because he believed the houses were unoccupied.
He told officers that the packages had originated from Spain and that he was due to be paid €200 per kilo for organising their delivery.
James Dwyer BL, defending told Judge Codd that his client on the enhanced regime in prison where he worked as a cleaner and had studied both music and maths.
His second wife was pregnant with their child at the time of his arrest and he had yet to meet the baby.