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Drugs and gun Dublin man who was holding contraband to pay gambling debt jailed

William Fagan (29) pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis for sale or supply, possession of 9mm semi-automatic pistol and ammunition and tobacco products on which excise duty had not been paid

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Dublin Circuit Criminal Court (Niall Carson/PA)

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court (Niall Carson/PA)

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court (Niall Carson/PA)

A young Dublin father who said he was holding drugs, tobacco and a loaded firearm for others in order to pay off gambling debts has been jailed for four years.

William Fagan (29), of Merchants Square, East Wall, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cannabis for sale or supply, possession of 9mm semi-automatic pistol and ammunition and tobacco products on which excise duty had not been paid at his home on April 16, 2020.

Garda Damien Egan told Kieran Kelly BL, prosecuting, that gardai searched Fagan's home and he readily admitted that the cannabis, valued at €35,805, as well as a small amount of other illegal drugs were his and no one else knew about them.

Gardai also recovered tobacco products on which excise duty had not been paid with a loss of €8,509 to the exchequer. They also recovered a firearm in good working order, whose magazine contained a number of rounds. Fagan's DNA was found on the gun and drugs.

Fagan has four previous convictions for minor offences.

Patrick McGrath SC, defending, said his client, who worked as a carpenter, was a family man, had recently become a father and was in a stable relationship.

He said Fagan took full responsibility for the items and instructed that he had become involved in gambling. He said a debt built up and he was holding the items to pay some of the debt.

Judge Melanie Greally said the quantity of the drugs was one consideration but said the circumstances associated with the items found were indicative of a person was actively involved in the sale and distribution of contraband.

Judge Greally took into account his early pleas, full cooperation and compliance with the investigation.

She imposed a five-year sentence and suspended the final 12 months in recognition of the need to incentivise him to turn his back on this type of criminal activity.

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