Man remanded in custody on four-year-old drug charges

An Athlone man extradited from Northern Ireland to face a charge of possession of €360,000 worth of drugs from four years ago was remanded in custody this week (October 9 ) for seven days.

Christopher Lacey (46 ), originally from Magazine Road, but now of no fixed abode, was arrested on Tuesday at the border crossing at Carrickcarna, Dundalk, Co Louth by Detective Garda Aidan Lyons on foot of an EU warrant after he signed a consent form to return to the jurisdiction in June.

It is alleged that Lacey was found with €299,000 worth of amphetamines, €60,000 worth of cannabis, and €1,700 of cocaine at Baylin, Athlone in November 2009.

Lacey had his original charges struck out in 2010 after Gardaí failed to present a book of evidence in time, and so the DPP chose to re-charge him under a single count of Section 15A of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

This is possession with intent to supply more than €13,000 worth of a proscribed substance, a charge which comes with a mandatory 10-year sentence on conviction.

Det Garda Lyons told Judge Seamus Hughes that the DPP had directed that Lacey be tried at the Circuit Court, and that he was confident that this book of evidence would be available in time.

He also said that the State was opposing bail for Lacey, and so Judge Hughes cleared the court to hear the reasons, which cannot be reported upon.

On hearing Det Garda Lyons objections, Judge Hughes declared: “Everything ticks all the boxes for this court. This seems to be at the very highest level of drug offences in Ireland, never mind this court”.

He then remanded Lacey to Cloverhill prison until October 16, before saying to the defendant: “I have sympathy for the predicament you find yourself in”.


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