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Drugs charges Covid worker agreed to accept nearly €600k of ketamine for crime gang, court told

Judge Bryan Smyth granted him bail despite garda objections at Dublin District Court.

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Gary Cosgrave

Gary Cosgrave

Gary Cosgrave

A Covid test centre worker was "trusted" by a criminal group to have a box of ketamine worth nearly €600,000 delivered to him, it has been alleged.

Gary Cosgrave (27) is accused of agreeing to have the box of drugs posted to his next door neighbour's address, but in his own name.

A court heard deleted texts from his phone to an unknown person allegedly said: "anyone asks me, I didn't have a clue... thought it was runners I ordered. It's not going to explode is it?"

Judge Bryan Smyth granted him bail despite garda objections at Dublin District Court.

Mr Cosgrave, who the court heard is denying the allegations, was remanded in custody with consent to bail, including a €15,000 cash surety.

He is charged with possession of more than €13,000 worth of ketamine for sale or supply at his home at Crumlin Road on November 10 last year.

Det Gda Donal Donoghue said the charge related to the seizure of €594,000 worth of ketamine following a controlled delivery by gardai and customs officers at Crumlin Road.

It was alleged a suspicious package was identified in the accused's name with an address at the house beside his family home. An attempt was made to deliver it to the address on the box but the resident stated that Mr Cosgrave did not live there but lived next door.

The package was then delivered to the accused's home and it was alleged Mr Cosgrave's mother accepted it, saying: "Gary was expecting that."

Following this, gardai and customs officers searched his address and recovered the package which was unopened. Mr Cosgrave returned near the end of the search and gardai retrieved his phone from him. The accused denied any knowledge of what was in the box and his denial continued in interview, Det Gda Donoghue continued.

Deleted text messages were recovered from his phone and gardai believed this showed he was aware what was in the parcel and that he accepted it on behalf of another person to clear a drug debt.

Det Gda Donoghue read out messages between what he said was the accused's number and a Dutch number on November 2 last year. The Dutch number said "need address to get something posted here" and "with that we will clear a lot to the bill," he told the court.

The texts from Mr Cosgrave's phone replied: "send it to mine," "anyone asks me, I didn't have a clue," and "thought it was runners I ordered." Another text allegedly from his number asked "It's not going to explode is it?" and the next gave the next door address, Det Gda Donoghue said.

The accused denied selling drugs for personal gain or being involved in organised crime, but the messages contradicted this, Det Gda Donoghue said.

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They included slang terms like "half bar" and two references to cocaine: "rubber" and "flake."

In interview, Mr Cosgrave accepted the messages were on his phone but denied he sent them. Gardai alleged he was a willing participant, played an integral part in the supply of the drugs and was "highly trusted" by a criminal group.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Daniel Cahalane said Mr Cosgrave did not live at the address the package was sent to. It was denied that his mother said he was expecting it. The defence would say his mother said "Gary usually lets me know when a package comes to the house."

The accused's father rang him during the garda raid and the accused came home from work with his phone, Mr Cahalane said. The accused would say the messages on the phone were not connected to that number, which was his, but was cut off six months earlier. He "totally denies" the charges and is presumed innocent, Mr Cahalane said.

Judge Smyth granted bail in the accused's own bond of €1,000 with no cash. However, he also required an independent surety of €30,000, with half to be lodged in cash.

Under conditions, he must sign on daily at Crumlin garda station, surrender his passport and be contactable by phone at all times. He was remanded in custody with consent to bail, to appear in Cloverhill District Court on November 17.

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