Man caught with €195k of drugs 'stored cannabis in wheelie bins'

A Dublin man caught in possession of almost €200k of drugs was storing cannabis in wheelie bins and cocaine in his kitchen, a court heard.

Michael Fulton (59) of Belmont Park, Raheny, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession for sale or supply of €195,347 worth of cannabis and cocaine at his home .

Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin sentenced him to five years imprisonment with the final two years suspended provided he be of good behaviour upon release, that he remain drug free and that he engage with the Probation Service.

The court heard that on March 16, 2016 at North Strand Road, Dublin, Fulton was driving a taxi cab and was stopped by gardaí on suspicion that he was driving while under the influence of an intoxicating substance.

Fulton had cannabis with him in the car and admitted to having more drugs in his home. During a search of his house he told gardaí that he was storing cannabis herb and resin in wheelie bins and that there was cocaine in his kitchen.

He told gardaí that he began taking cannabis to assist with back pain and had agreed to store the drugs in his house to pay off a debt. He declined to name the person who he was in debt to and said he was in fear of them.

Fulton also admitted to transporting the drugs and to storing a more than €11,000 for the same unnamed person. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Ní Chúlacháin said the aggravating factors in the case were the high value of the drugs, that there was more than one kind of drug being stored and that Fulton had transported the drugs.

She said the mitigating factors were the lack of previous criminal activity, the early plea of guilty, his full co-operation with the investigation and that he has been substance free for 19 months.

Fulton also received a 12 month ban for driving to due his pleading guilty to driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

Fergal Foley BL, prosecuting, asked for a forfeiture and destruction order for the money and drugs discovered at Fulton’s home.

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