Heroin drug dealer jailed

Heroin drug dealer jailed

Man owns up to drugs stash in sensitive area, court hears

by Martina Nee

A drug dealer, who was taken off a bus and brought to Galway Garda Station where it was discovered that €1,400 worth of heroin had been stashed in a rather sensitive area, was sentenced to nine months in jail this week.

The Galway District Court heard yesterday how gardai were about to conduct a search when James Mannion owned up to having the drugs on his person and proceeded to take the package from his anal passage.

The 35-year-old with an address at 28 Parkmore Estate, Tuam, had been summoned to appear before Judge Mary Fahy yesterday and pleaded guilty to possession of heroin at Galway Garda Station on November 25, 2007. He also pleaded guilty to possession of the drug with intent to sell or supply.

Detective Garda Gerry Carroll gave evidence that a bus travelling from Oranmore had been stopped by Detective Garda Johnny Maloney and the defendant was taken off. He was then conveyed to Galway Garda Station at Mill Street and searched under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act. During the search Mannion admitted to being in possession of the drug and “produced them from his anal passage”. Mannion then told gardai that the drugs were in fact heroin.

The court heard that the drugs had a street value of €1,400 and that the defendant had been co-operative with gardai throughout the investigation. Det Garda Carroll added that the defendant had 16 previous convictions which included a 12 month sentence in November 2001 for an offence under the Firearms and Offensive Weapons act as well as criminal damage, larceny, and threatening and abusive behaviour.

Mannion’s solicitor said that the father of four was unemployed and was trying to get his life together by participating in a methadone programme and attending an addiction councillor.

Judge Fahy replied that she must sentence Mannion as he had been supplying others and thereby fuelling their addictions.

For possession with intent to sell or supply Mannion was convicted and sentenced to nine months. The remaining offence was taken into consideration. Leave to appeal was granted.

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