Jason Reed (40) had pleaded guilty to money laundering and possessing the proceeds of crime relating to almost €400,000 in Drogheda last year.
Gardaí had also seized six high-end watches worth over €55,000 from the accused who has no source of income and hasn't paid PRSI since 2008.
Reed, of Maelduin in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, was arrested in May of last year during a surveillance operation involving the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB ).
The non-jury court had heard that he was the primary target of a money laundering investigation into a transnational organised crime group.
Although the criminal gang were not named in court, Independent.ie understands that Reed was a close and long-standing associate of the Kinahan cartel.
Sources have described him as a "logistics and money man" for the cartel who would regularly travel back between Ireland and Spain.
He was also an associate of Offaly hauler Thomas Maher, currently serving a lengthy jail term in the UK for drug trafficking, having been busted after police breached a secure encrypted server used by criminals.
This morning Reed was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for what Mr Justice Tony Hunt said was helping an international drug trafficking gang “enjoy the fruits” of their criminal enterprise.
The judge said it was clear from the evidence that Reed was a trusted mid-to-high-level member of the gang and that this offending was not a once off.
He set a headline sentence of 10 years imprisonment, and took into account Reed’s early guilty plea, and his absence of any relevant previous convictions.
The non-jury court jailed the money launderer for seven years on each count, to run concurrently.
Last week Det Sgt Adrian Mulligan gave evidence that on May 11, 2020, a covert operation was put in place at the home of the accused who was "central" to the inquiry.
The investigator said Reed was observed leaving his house and driving to the Spar along the Donore Road, Drogheda.
He was seen pulling into the car park and before placing an item into a black Mercedes driven by a co-accused still before the court.
Jason Reed was also seen taking a blue holdall bag from his car and placing it into a white Hyundai driven by care worker Catherine Dawson.
Ms Dawson (44), of Betaghstown Wood in Bettystown, Co Meath, previously received a fully suspended prison term after pleading guilty to two counts of possessing the proceeds of criminal conduct.
Det Sgt Mulligan said the three vehicles were intercepted and the money recovered. The blue bag Jason Reed had placed in Catherine Dawson's car was searched and found to contain €289,770 and £65,025 (€70,207) in cash.
The court heard Reed's vehicle was seized and when examined was found to have been fitted with a secret compartment between the rear seats to hide criminal proceeds. This compartment, the court heard, was operated with a remote fob found in the car.
A further €32,330 in cash was discovered in the accused's home. Det Sgt Mulligan said that five high-end watches- four Rolex and one Ottoman- were found with a combined valued of €51,100, along with an encrypted phone.
An associated search of a mobile home in Courtown, Co Wexford, linked to the accused was also carried out.
The three judges were told that a pink Rolex watch worth €3,500 was recovered while the caravan had been purchased for €17,500 in cash.
The senior detective said that Jason Reed had no source of income, and that the assets recovered were "out of sync with his source of means". He added that the accused has not paid PRSI since 2008.
Det Sgt Mulligan told Garett Baker BL, prosecuting, that Jason Reed was the target of the operation.
He described him as a "trusted high-level member" and "central to the movement of cash" for a transnational criminal gang involved in drugs and firearms trafficking as well as money laundering.
The investigator added that the encrypted phone and the secret car compartment "fits with his role" in the organisation and that Reed "was at a very high level" in this investigation.
The non-jury court was told Jason Reed has no relevant previous convictions, and that he is a father to three children all under the age of 18.
Mr McGrath said his client was raised by his grandparents and left school at 15 before working as a plasterer.
References had also been handed in from a Dublin-based soup charity, Friends Helping Friends, with whom Jason Reed has worked with every Christmas for the past five years.
Counsel said that since the pandemic began the charity has been operating on a more regular basis. Photographs of the charity's founder with Reed outside the Central Bank were also handed in.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge David McHugh, said the court took into account his early guilty plea and the absence of previous convictions, before jailing him for a total of seven years.
He added that, had Reed opted to take a trial and been convicted on foot of the strong evidence, he would have been jailed for ten years.
Speaking outside the Criminal Courts of Justice after the sentencing, Detective Chief Superintendent Angela Willis said that money is the root of organised crime and that gardai are focused on the assets of major crime gangs.
"Money is the bedrock of organised crime. It is why criminals become involved in serious crime, involving guns, drugs and murder. It is why An Garda Síochána are focusing on the assets and the money belonging to major organised crime gangs," said Det Ch Supt Willis.
The National Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau chief said:
"Organised crime gangs will always try to recruit people that are not known to the guards - people who don't have criminal convictions - but moving money that are proceeds of organised crime is not a victimless crime and the court has recognised that here today."