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Guilty plea Truck driver jailed for 3.5 years for importing €1.6m of drugs into Ireland

Alyvydus Simkus (48), who has no other serious criminal convictions, told gardaí that he was paid £50 (€56) to take the drugs into the country.

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Alyvydus Simkus

Alyvydus Simkus

Alyvydus Simkus

A Limerick truck driver who imported over €1.6 million of ketamine, MDMA and cocaine has been jailed for three and a half years.

Alyvydus Simkus (48), who has no other serious criminal convictions, told gardaí that he was paid £50 (€56) to take the drugs into the country.

Detective Garda Ronan Doolin told Garret Baker BL, prosecuting, that gardaí received confidential information that drugs would be imported into the State on the date in question.

Det Gda Doolin said the truck Simkus was driving was stopped in Dublin Port having arrived in a ferry from the UK. He was directed to go New Customs House where his truck was searched.

A white box was found in the side compartment of the cab unit which contained 10 packages wrapped in black tape. After this box was discovered Simkus told officials that two further white boxes could be found inside the cab unit.

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Alyvydus Simkus

Alyvydus Simkus

Alyvydus Simkus

Inside the three white boxes was large amounts of ketamine, MDMA and cocaine with a combined total value of €1,612.129.

Simkus of Smith's Lane, Cathedral Place, Limerick city initially denied the offence but told gardaí he was the only person who had the key to the cab unit. He is originally from Lithuania but had been living in the country for over 15 years.

He pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to unlawfully importing controlled drugs at Dublin port on March 31, 2018. His eight previous convictions are all for road traffic offences.

Det Gda Doolin agreed with Dean Kelly SC, defending, that his client had not been on garda radar prior to the offence and has not come to adverse attention since.

Mr Kelly said that his client was presented with the opportunity to bring the boxes into the State and he did not know what was in them. He said his client received around £50 initially with the understanding being he would receive more money after transporting the boxes.

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Alvydus Simkus was charged

Alvydus Simkus was charged

Alvydus Simkus was charged

Counsel said his client was a married man with three adult children who has lived an otherwise decent and hard-working life.

He said Simkus feels regret and shame for committing the offence.

Judge Elma Sheahan said she accepted as genuine Simkus' expressions of remorse and shame for his actions. She also noted testimonials which describe him as a kind and compassionate family man.

But she said his role was significant in facilitating the drugs trade and she said the court must take into consideration the harm and potential harm caused to society by the scourge of drugs.

She noted the evidence from Det Gda Doolin that he believed this offence was a “one off” and suspended the final 18 months of a five-year prison term on condition he be of good behaviour.

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