Court hears alleged one-eyed boss of ‘elaborate’ drug ring who swam the Liffey to avoid €2million drug bust
AN ALLEGED ‘principal’ in an ‘elaborate’ drug smuggling and money laundering operation swam the River Liffey to escape arrest for a €2million drug seizure, a court has heard.
Officers from the Garda National Drugs and Organized Crime Bureau searched a house and arrested vans in Palmerstown, Dublin 20, on June 22.
Six men were arrested during the operation, and on Friday five appeared in court.
Today Gardai brought the sixth man, Carl Powell, before Judge Treasa Kelly of Dublin District Court.
Mr Powell, 34, with an address in Brocklebank Lane, Liverpool, England, was refused bail.
He is charged with possession of cannabis for sale or supply at a house in Mill Lane, Palmerstown and having heroin, cannabis and cocaine in a flat in Dublin 2.
Judge Kelly heard he did not respond to the charges.
Garda Detective Gavin Curran opposed bail due to the seriousness of the case.
He argued that Mr Powell was a ‘main element’ of an organized crime group involved in drug distribution and money laundering.
He told the bail hearing that Gardai set up a surveillance operation and saw him carrying a black Under Armor duffel bag into a house in Mill Lane.
Two vans leaving the property were stopped and searched, resulting in the recovery of 69 kilos of cannabis worth over €1.3m.
On the same day, Gardai searched the house around 6 p.m. and seized 34 kilos of cannabis, worth €680,000.
The court heard that a man had tried to escape, and he entered and swam across the Liffey. He threw away the sports bag, which the gardai say they got back.
Additionally, they searched a flat in Dublin 2. It was allegedly used for an “elaborate money laundering and money trafficking operation”.
Detective Garda Curran said €140,000 of cocaine, heroin worth €180,000 and two kilos of cannabis were recovered, along with vacuum bags of money totaling €864,000.
A “checklist”, a ledger, scales and a counterfeit detection machine were discovered there, the court heard.
Detective Garda Curran alleged that a passport photo of the defendant, a Ryanair ticket and a dentist receipt from Spain were also found.
Mr Powell was arrested at a downtown hotel just after 1pm the following day. He had found his mate.
Detective Curran said the accused, who only has one eye, had a “distinctive appearance”.
At the time of his arrest, he was wearing slippers and a woman’s coat, and “a wet passport was found in his possession”.
The officer said the accused had “multiple scratches” believed to have been caused by branches and undergrowth along the Liffey.
The detective also told the court that the defendant had been living in Spain for seven or eight years. He thought Mr Powell was a flight risk with access to a ‘transnational network’.
Cross-examined by defense attorney Keith Spencer, instructed by attorney Niall O’Connor, the detective agreed that there was no forensic evidence linking the defendant to the downtown apartment. town or at the so-called Palmerstown warehouse.
Pleading for bail, the lawyer said his client had been in Ireland since December and benefited from the presumption of innocence.
He was supported in court by his partner and helped look after his children.
However, Judge Kelly denied him bail and remanded him to appear in Cloverhill District Court on Friday. She noted that Gardai intended to oppose legal aid after the defense argued that the defendant had limited means.
His co-defendants faced bail hearings on Friday and will appear again in Cloverhill District Court next week.
Gary Graham, 47, of Patrick Heaney Crescent, D.1, Barry Keane, 30, of Coolamber Road, Rathcoole, Dublin, and Michael Murphy, 32, of Woodstown Meadow, Knocklyon, Dublin, have been charged with possession of cannabis for sale or supply. in a house on Mill Lane in Palmerstown.
Industrial cleaner and father of one Gary Graham was denied bail. The court heard allegations that he had stayed at home when Gardai carried out the search and found several kilos of cannabis “piled up against a hedge”.
Garda Detective Ciaran Cummins alleged the house was a “hub” for organized crime.
Gary Graham “categorically denied any involvement in the case” and did not attempt to flee.
Gardai agreed to bail with a series of conditions for the other four co-defendants in court on Friday.
Michael Campbell, 31, of New Priory, Donaghmede, Dublin, was given a €2,000 bond but required an independently approved €10,000 bond before he could be released. He is accused of having possessed €600,000 worth of cannabis at M50.
Michael Murphy and Barry Keane have bails of €5,000 and require €5,000 from independent sureties.
Gary Graham’s cousin, Christopher Graham, 41, of Matt Talbot Court, Dublin 1, has been charged with possession of €760,000 worth of cannabis for delivery to a van in Palmerstown.
They made no response when charged.
Instructions from the DPP must be obtained.