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Dublin man jailed for possession of more than half a million euro worth of cocaine

Dublin man jailed for possession of more than half a million euro worth of cocaine

A father of three has been jailed for three years for possession of more than half a million euro worth of cocaine.

Thomas Knowles (56) of Knock Riada, Chapelizod, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the drugs for sale or supply at two locations on 9 April, 2016.

Detective Garda John Paul Carroll told the court that the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau had mounted a surveillance of Knowles on foot of information that he was carrying drugs.

A car Knowles was a passenger in was stopped and he was found with a bag carrying 1.1 kilos of cocaine. Another kilo of the drug was found in four packets in the passenger seat.

During a follow up search at Knowles house in Chapelizod, five kilos of cocaine were discovered. Gda Carroll told the court that the drugs had an estimated street value of €560,000 in total.

The court heard Knowles was very cooperative when being interviewed. Gda Carroll said it was his view that the accused had poor judgment and that he had taken “a chance for a few extra pounds”.

He said Knowles was not the type of character they would normally be after; he was unlikely to be aware of how much the drugs he was carrying were worth and was in fear of those who provided them.

In sentencing, Judge Melanie Greally said the court accepted that Knowles’ role went no further than to hold onto drugs for a time before passing them on. This placed him at lower rungs of the ladder in terms of his involvement, she said.

Judge Greally said he took a very foolish decision to get involved in the illegal drugs trade before handing down a six year sentence with the final three suspended.

Defence counsel, Michael Bowman SC, said Mr Knowles was on a “smorgasbord of medication” for severe heart disease. Judge Greally said she would ask the Prison Service to ensure he got all the medicine he needed during his sentence.