A THREE-year investigation resulted in three people appearing before Bantry District Court last Thursday, charged with offences relating to the search and seizure of €645,000 worth of drugs.
Sgt Trish O’Sullivan outlined details of arrest, charge and caution to Judge James McNulty following an investigation by gardaí at Bantry Garda Station, the Cork West Divisional Drugs Unit, and Store Street Garda Station in Dublin, with the assistance of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and the Department of Health.
During the course of these searches, gardaí seized €645,000 worth of cannabis and cannabis-related products as part of a series of alleged offences between November 14th 2018 and October 12th 2020.
It has been alleged that the offences were carried out at The Funky Skunk business premises on Glengarriff Road in Bantry, in Dublin, and at Lavitt’s Quay in Cork, as well as a residential address at Kilnacnapogue in Kealkil, and two warehousing units at Colomane in Bantry.
Funky Skunk shop owner and Sherkin Island art student Helen Stone (55) of Kilnacnapogue, Kealkil – who was legally represented by Colette McCarthy – is charged with 57 alleged offences. They include four charges of having cannabis, worth in excess of €13,000, for sale or supply.
Helen Stone was also charged with 17 counts of having cannabis for sale or supply; 19 charges of possession of cannabis; 16 charges of allowing business premises to be used for the sale and supply of drugs; and one charge of selling a psychoactive substance.
The second named defendant, Jack Palmer (23) of 108 Shandon Street in Cork – an electrical engineering student who was legally represented by Flor Murphy – is facing one charge of having cannabis, valued at more than €13,000, for sale or supply. Two charges of having cannabis for sale or supply have also been brought against Jack Palmer, and two charges of cannabis possession.
The third defendant, Donovan Linde (31) of Ardnatrash, Glengarriff – who had been an employee of The Funky Skunk but is now unemployed – has been charged with one count of having cannabis, valued at more than €13,000, for sale or supply; two counts of having cannabis for sale or supply; and two charges of cannabis possession. He was represented by Flor Murphy.
Detective Gda Andrew Manning, Gda Eoin Concannon and Gda John O’Sullivan gave evidence of arrest charge and caution and Judge James McNulty adjourned the case to the April 27th sitting of Bantry District Court for the service of the book of evidence.
Each of the accused were released on a bail bond – with no cash or surety required – but conditions were imposed.
Each of the accused have been directed to sign on at a garda station three times a week. They have had to surrender their passports and they must be contactable by gardaí on their mobile phones 24/7.
Applications for free legal aid were adjourned after Judge McNulty requested a statement of means, in affidavit format, in respect of each of the accused.
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