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Drugs seized Personal trainer held €15k cocaine package to pay off gambling debt

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A personal trainer who held cocaine in order to pay off a €15,000 gambling debt has been remanded on continuing bail pending sentence.

Elmir Habibovic (31) of Woodvale Avenue, Hartstown, Dublin 15, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to having €25,500 worth of cocaine at his home for sale or supply on April 19, 2018.

He has 11 previous convictions for public order and road traffic offences, which were all dealt with in the District Court.

He has not come to garda attention since and previously had not offended since July 2009.

Detective Garda Mark O'Neill told Kieran Kelly BL, prosecuting, that Habibovic's home was searched after a warrant was secured following a garda tip off.

The cocaine was found in a drawer in a dining table along with almost €6,000 found in three separate envelopes in his bedroom.

Habibovic and a second man, who had been living in the house, were arrested but Habibovic took full responsibility for the drugs.

He said he had been holding the drugs for around five days for someone else in order to a clear a €15,000 gambling debt.

Habibovic told gardaí he had been “messing with money” and trying to make money from gambling and again repeated that he had been minding the drugs to get €1,000 off his debt.

Det Gda O'Neill agreed with Ronan Munro SC, defending, that Habibovic immediately made admissions so others living in the house were not held responsible for having the drugs.

He further accepted that Habibovic has “been off the garda radar” and “has faded from view” since his arrest. Counsel submitted that his client instructed that he has since “disassociated from his peers” at the time.

Judge Elma Sheahan adjourned the case to January next for sentence.

She remanded Habibovic on continuing bail and acknowledged that, as he is a self-employed personal trainer, he would need some time “to get his affairs in order”.

Mr Murno handed in a large amount of testimonials to the court which he said outlined the contribution his client has made to his local community assisting many clubs with free strength and conditioning training.

He told Judge Sheahan that his client is not opposing the forfeiture to the State of the €6,000 found in his home and acknowledged that he was “gaining financially” from holding the drugs.

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