Four men, a woman, and a teenager, all charged in connection with a major drugs raid at different locations in Galway county at the weekend resulting in the seizure of cannabis plants worth an estimated €750,000, have been further remanded in custody.
At Galway District Court on Monday Garda Noel McNulty gave evidence of arresting three of the men, all Vietnamese nationals, and charging them at Galway Garda Station last Sunday. The men gave no reply after charge and caution.
Fifty-year-old Son Thianh Trinh (50 ) of no fixed abode was the first to be brought before Judge Mary Fahy charged with posession of drugs, possession of drugs with intent to sell or supply, and cultivation of cannabis plants at Ballygally Glann Road, Oughterard, on September 15, 2012. Defence solicitor Brian Gilmartin said that there would be no application for bail. The court heard that Trinh, who has only been in the country a short while, is separated and unemployed. Free legal aid was granted in respect of this defendant.
Mr Gilmartin also made no applications for bail in relation to Van Dung Le (48 ) and Tuan Tran (37 ) both with an address given as Ballygally Glan Road, Oughterard. Le is charged with two counts of possession of drugs, and one count of possession with intent to sell or supply while Tran is charged with possession of drugs, possession with intent to sell or supply, and cultivation of cannabis plants at their address on September 15 last.
Garda Barry Nugent then gave evidence of arresting a fourth man, Ngugen Nam (29 ) of no fixed abode on September 16 at 7.36pm and charging him with possession of drugs, posession with intent to sell or supply, and cultivation of cannabis plants at Addergoole Beg, Garraufauns, Dunmore, on September 15. An application for legal aid was granted for Nam who is single and unemployed.
All four men were further remanded in custody by consent to appear at Harristown District Court tomorrow for DPP directions.
Also brought before Judge Fahy later in the afternoon was a woman, 37-year-old Thuy Nguyen Thi of no fixed abode, and a 16-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons. The woman is charged with possession of drugs, possession with intent to sell or supply and cultivation of cannabis plants at Bullaun, Cummer, Tuam, while the juvenile was charged with three similar offences. No application for bail was made by Mr Gilmartin and both Thi and the juvenile were remanded in custody to appear at Galway District court on September 24.
It is understood the arrests were made as a result of a search which took place at two houses in the Tuam area and one house in Oughterard as part of a operation targeting the sale and supply of controlled drugs by western region gardai from the divisional drug unit.