coke haul | 

Seven and a half years prison for man caught with €4.5 million worth of cocaine

Bradley Spencer (28) with an address in Malaga in Spain, pleaded guilty to possession of the drugs in Dublin on June 3, 2022

Sonya McLeanSunday World

A man who was caught with €4.5 million worth of cocaine in the boot of his car has been jailed for seven and a half years.

Bradley Spencer (28) with an address in Corian, Pueblos Los Olieos, Malaga in Spain, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the drugs on the Leopardstown Road in Dublin on June 3, 2022. He has no previous convictions.

An investigating garda told Eoghan Cole BL, prosecuting that the Toyota Yaris Spencer was driving was stopped following the implementation of a surveillance operation.

The drugs, which were in six large black refuse bags in the boot of the vehicle, were found to contain 67 kilos of cocaine, worth an estimated €4.5 million.

A follow up search of an apartment, the key for which was found on Spencer, led to the discovery of his passport and a vacuum packing machine. A vehicle was found parked in the underground carpark which had been specially adapted and fitted with “a hidden cavity”.

Spencer made no admissions to the drugs during garda questioning but he claimed that his DNA would not be found on the packaging.

He is originally from Leeds in England but was living at the time in Malaga, Spain with his family.

Judge Dara Hayes said it was “an enormous quantity of drugs” and said Spencer had been “clearly trusted” to transport these drugs by a criminal organisation.

He said it appears that Spencer had been using the vehicle that had been discovered in the underground carpark of his apartment block and noted that it had “sophisticated alterations” made to it.

Judge Hayes noted that it was not the pressure of a drug debt that caused Spencer to become involved in the offence and said he had “a higher level of culpability than other drug cases”.

He accepted his early guilty plea but acknowledged that he had been caught in possession of the drugs.

He further accepted that Spencer had co-operated with the garda investigation and had shown courtesy to the arresting officers. He had shown remorse for his involvement and was of previous good character.

Judge Hayes set a headline sentence of 12 years before he imposed a sentence of nine years with the final 18 months suspended on strict conditions.

Dominic McGinn SC defending handed in what he described as “an impressive array” of testimonials into court and said his client was “universally regarded as a positive member of his family and community”.

He said Spencer was a man who has cared for many family members and friends when in times of need and has “put others before himself”.

Counsel said while his client was addicted to cocaine at the time, he has not given any explanation as to why he agreed to transport the drugs.

Spencer has been on remand in prison since his arrest and was considered an enhanced prisoner who was engaging with a drug counsellor, Mr McGinn said.

“He has turned over a new leaf and is committed to leading a law-abiding life when he gets out of prison,” counsel submitted.

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