Judge notes the trend of vulnerable people being targeted for drug storage

April 27th, 2023 7:10 AM

By Southern Star Team

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A DISTRICT court judge has noted the trend of serious drug dealers using ‘foolish and vulnerable’ people to allow their homes be used for the storage of drugs.

Judge James McNulty made the observation while dealing with the case of a Clonakilty man who allowed drugs and associated drug paraphernalia to be stored in his garden shed as a ‘favour to a friend.’

Maciej Malkiewicz (40) of 6 Tawnies Grove, Clonakilty pleaded guilty at Clonakilty District Court to the possession of cannabis as well as allowing his premises to be used for the preparation of drugs at a recent sitting of Clonakilty District Court.

Sgt Paul Kelly told the court that on December 20th 2021 Det Gda Andrew Manning along with members of the Cork West divisional drugs unit carried out a search of the defendant’s home in Clonakilty.

‘He handed over cannabis resin and herb which was being stored in a bike shed, three weighing scales, rolls of plastic and a box containing deal bags indicating drug dealing,’ said Sgt Kelly.

‘He said a friend of his owned it all and that he was allowing him to use his shed for the preparation of drug deals. 

‘He did not give them the name of his friend who owned the drugs.’

The court heard that he has two previous convictions, including no insurance and the possession of cannabis.

Solicitor Conrad Murphy said his client is separated, has two children aged 11 and 13, and  works as a lorry driver for a local co-operative. He said his client co-operated with gardaí.

However, Judge James McNulty said that is not what he heard, as the defendant refused to name the person who owned the drugs.

Mr Murphy said his client is no longer friends with this man and has been in Ireland 19 years and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

‘He gave the gardaí as many details, bar the name of the person who owned the drugs. He realises things are getting serious,’ said Mr Murphy.

Judge McNulty said the defendant allowed his shed at home to be used as a ‘drug making’ factory as a ‘favour to a friend.’

‘Surely he can’t be that naïve? Was he being paid in kind for allowing his shed to be turned into a processing factory?’ asked the judge.

Mr Murphy said his client never got anything from the arrangement, while Judge McNulty said it was ‘very foolish’ thing to do and he could be facing a custodial sentence.

He convicted and fined him €300 on the drugs possession charge.

‘Sadly it seems to be a trend among serious drug dealers when they find someone foolish and vulnerable to use their gaff for storage of drugs or drug dealing.’

He noted that this is a ‘serious offence’ and sentenced him to six months in prison, while recognisances for an appeal were fixed in the defendant’s own bond of €100 with no cash required.

Judge McNulty also directed him not to involve himself in the sale or supply or storage of any controlled drug while out on bail appealing his case. He is also not to collect or recover a drug debt or involve himself in money laundering.

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