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No jail for drug dealer who had charge dropped because of loophole

Darren Snee
Darren Snee

A Dublin boxing coach who had serious drugs charges against him dropped after a recent Court of Appeal judgement has escaped jail for possessing small amounts of other substances.

Darren Snee (25) had pleaded guilty to possessing ecstasy worth €17,000 for sale or supply hours before the Court of Appeal issued a judgement which ruled that a range of drugs, including ecstasy, were legal as they were unconstitutionally banned by the government.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) then withdrew the ecstasy possession charge against Snee, who has an address Oak Court Close, Palmerstown, Dublin.

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

Judge Martin Nolan gave Snee a two and  a half year suspended sentence for the remaining charges of possessing cannabis worth €819 and cocaine valued at €399. Both of these drugs were unaffected by the ruling.

Darren Snee

Snee had 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. He has one previous conviction for burglary.

After the guilty plea on March 10 last, Judge Nolan remanded Snee in custody pending sentence and refused to release him after his lawyers found out about the appeal court ruling hours later.

At the sentence finalisation Judge Nolan told Snee that he had put him in custody to teach him a  lesson.

He accepted that Snee was an intelligent man who was capable of reforming himself, but warned him that his future was up to him.

At the sentence hearing, 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.

Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, 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 his client wants to study architecture and is heavily involved in sports such as boxing and cycling and that he is a “man with prospects.”