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under threat Dealer (37) caught with cannabis worth €13k on ferry owed debt due to crack addiction

The court was told Noel Gleeson had built up a €10,000 debt due to his crack cocaine use and was told he would be shot in the legs

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Stena Line (stock image)

Stena Line (stock image)

Stena Line (stock image)

A convicted drug dealer has been jailed for two years for bringing a large amount of cannabis into the country on a car ferry.

Noel Gleeson (37) of Ballymount road Lwr, Walkinstown, Dublin, told gardaí that he was threatened by people he owed a drug debt to and was told to travel to the UK to collect the drugs.

A sports bag containing cannabis with a street value of a little over €13,000 was found in a car parked outside his home by gardaí carrying out a search of his home.

Garda Mark Cullen told the court the search warrant was sought on August 3, 2020, on foot of confidential information about the storage at the house in Ballymount road lower.

He said he and colleagues went to the house the next day and met Gleeson and three other people.

One of the gardaí noticed a strong smell of cannabis coming from a parked car which had a window open.

A search of the car found the bag of drugs and receipts in Gleeson's name for a Stena Line ferry journey a few days earlier.

Gleeson was arrested and said that he had travelled to the UK after being threatened over a drug debt. Keith Spencer BL, defending, told the court that his client had built up a €10,000 debt due to his crack cocaine use and was told he would be shot in the legs.

Gleeson pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession for sale or supply of drugs at Ballymount Road Lower on August 4, 2020.

He has three previous convictions for sale or supply of drugs and received a sentence of three years with one year suspended on May 12, 2017.

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The court heard on that date Gleeson was caught during a garda raid trying to flush heroin down a toilet and gardaí blocked the drain with a towel and a shovel.

At his sentencing today Judge Orla Crowe noted that he would have been released from custody for this offence in 2019.

She noted that he took part in community employment with an addiction response clinic for a year after his release but was back offending since.

She said this was his fourth conviction for drug dealing and noted that he had gone out to the car and taken some buds from the cannabis herb so “he may not have been in much fear”.

She noted garda evidence that Gleeson was considered to be at the “lower end of the scale” but she said it was “a very active lower end”.

A Probation Service report assessed him as being at a high risk of reoffending, Judge Crowe said.

She imposed a three year prison term but suspended the final 12 months for two years on various conditions including his co-operation with a drug rehabilitation service.

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