Civil servant jailed after gardaí found over €300,000 worth of drugs in lock-up
Paul Storey was handed a four-year prison sentence today at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Over €310,000 worth of drugs were found in a container in Co. Kildare belonging to a civil servant, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard.
Paul Storey (36) of Woodford Meadows, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and diamorphine for sale or supply at Baronrath, Straffan, Co Kildare on April 24, 2021.
Storey was handed a four-year prison sentence today at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
The investigating garda told John Moher BL, prosecuting, that a warrant was obtained to search a property in Kildare which contained a number of sheds and containers. The owner of the premises contacted Storey, who was not present during the search, at the request of gardai. The defendant told the owner of the premises: “I'm f***ed”.
Gardaí removed the lock of the green container belonging to Storey and found a black Honda Accord inside. Gardai found 3.3kg of cocaine, with a value of €232,603 and 560g of diamorphine worth €78,456 in the boot of the car.
Mix material and other drugs paraphernalia were also found. Storey's fingerprint was identified on a blender.
Storey was arrested at his home on May 17, 2021, and denied any knowledge of the drugs when interviewed.
The investigating garda agreed with Anne Marie Lawlor SC, defending, that her client was not the primary target of the search and that Storey was holding the drugs on behalf of a third party. The garda agreed that Storey would be low down the chain and had no trappings of wealth.
Storey has eight previous convictions, including four for minor drugs offences and four for road traffic matters. The garda agreed that the most recent of Storey's previous drugs convictions dates from 2017 and relates to cannabis.
Storey has one previous conviction for possession of drugs for sale or supply from 2012, and the amount involved was €500.
Defence counsel said Storey was in a relationship with a person with a drugs debt, and for a “foolish but understandable” reason sought to help them by holding these items.
Ms Lawlor asked the court to consider this separate to Storey's previous convictions for drugs offences, which had related to his use of cannabis. Her client entered an early plea, and is remorseful for his actions.
Storey works full-time in the civil service and supports his parents, who are in poor health. References from family and a co-worker were handed to the court.
Defence counsel said Storey had made an “enormous error” but was a productive and useful member of society.
Judge Martin Nolan said Storey had made a “serious misjudgement” in becoming involved with this level of dugs. He said Storey's level of culpability was reduced as he got involved to help another party. Storey also had previous relevant convictions, though of a less serious nature.
Judge Nolan said he would take Storey's early guilty plea and his good work history into account as mitigation and he imposed a four-year prison sentence.
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