Gar­daí sniffed out €22k of cannabis

Irish Examiner - - News - Liam Heylin

A hor­ren­dous smell of cannabis herb raised the sus­pi­cions of gar­daí when they were vis­it­ing an apart­ment block to in­ves­ti­gate an in­ci­dent that had noth­ing to do with drugs.

Af­ter they went away to get a search warrant to fol­low their noses they found a stash of cannabis herb in the bath­room of the apart­ment and it had a street value of €22,000.

Lukasz Ku­biak, aged 34, of Maple Woods, Bal­li­nacurra, Mi­dle­ton, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to hav­ing cannabis at an apart­ment at Kilta View, Main St, Castle­mar­tyr, on Septem­ber 23, 2017, for the pur­pose of sell­ing or sup­ply- ing at a time when the drugs were worth over €13,000 worth of cannabis at.

The rel­e­vance of the €13,000 thresh­old is that it car­ries a manda­tory 10-year min­i­mum sen­tence un­less there are ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances.

De­tec­tive Sgt Seán Leahy said the gar­daí were in­ves­ti­gat­ing a hit and run car ac­ci­dent at the time when they en­tered the apart­ment com­plex.

“On en­ter­ing in the hall the gar­daí got a strong smell of cannabis from one apart­ment. They left and got a warrant. They came back and car­ried out a search.

“They found a dis­used grow­house. Also cannabis was found in a small bath­room.”

While no one was present at the time, Ku­biac con­tacted his solic­i­tor as soon as he be­came aware of the garda search and he made an ap­point­ment to meet gar­daí so that he could be for­mally ar­rested and ques­tioned.

When ques­tioned he ad­mit­ted cul­ti­va­tion of cannabis in the apart­ment.

The Pol­ish man is mar­ried to an Ir­ish woman and had no con­vic­tions of any kind. The judge was told the de­fen­dant’s wife had no knowl­edge of her hus­band’s dru­gre­lated ac­tiv­ity. Mr Creed said it was the hor­ren­dous smell of cannabis that put gar­daí on to the ac­cused and not any­thing else.

The se­nior coun­sel said the de­fen­dant’s po­si­tion was that, “Peo­ple were com­ing over, do­ing the heavy with him. He was to grow it and hold to it for them to clear a debt.”

Judge Seán Ó Donnab­háin said: “What I am con­cerned about is he had a long-stand­ing cannabis habit. He is com­ing be­fore the court and that is not rec­ti­fied.”

Tom Creed, de­fend­ing, said the de­fen­dant’s wife took a dim view of his ac­tions. The judge re­peated: “I asked you a di­rect ques­tion. He is a user of cannabis. He is be­fore the court on a se­ri­ous charge. He has not done any­thing to im­prove that sit­u­a­tion. You are miss­ing the point I am try­ing to make. Per­haps if I re­manded your client in cus­tody it would dawn on him.”

Mr Creed said the de­fen­dant would ad­dress his cannabis habit if the sen­tenc­ing was ad­journed.

Judge Ó Donnab­háin said: “Mo­ladh go deo le Dia! The penny has dropped. Maybe I should be the bar­ris­ter. Hand me up the pink sheets [the forms signed in court by lawyers for the pur­pose of be­ing paid free le­gal aid].”

Sen­tenc­ing of Ku­biak was ad­journed un­til Fe­bru­ary 15 for him to do reg­u­lar uri­nal­y­sis.

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