Student who helped run Letterkenny drug supply ring jailed

August 9, 2021

A student who became a player in the supply of drugs in Co Donegal’s largest town has been jailed for two years.

Anjola Shonukan came from his parent’s home in Dundalk to study at Letterkenny’s Institute of Technology.

However, after experimenting by smoking cannabis the 24-year-old soon took to dealing drugs in the town.

After a surveillance operation by undercover Gardai, Shonukan was caught in a taxi with a haul of €34,000 worth of drugs including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and diazepam in a sports bag.

Gardai also recovered a mobile phone with names of all the people he was supplying drugs to.

Detective Garda Derek Connaughton told Letterkenny Circuit Court “These text messages clearly showed he was involved in the drugs trade.”

Shonukan was taken to Letterkenny Garda Station where he was quizzed about the seizure.

He admitted having possession of the drugs but refused to say where he had got them from.

His barrister Shane Costelloe, SC, said this wasn’t unusual as there was a fear of naming others.

Mr Costelloe said his client had traveled to Donegal from Dundalk and regularly gave away cannabis to people at parties to ingratiate himself with others.

He added that Shonukan suffered from anxiety and depression and this was one of the ways he found to fit in.

He said that his client had pleaded guilty early and he said he did not reveal the names of other people involved out of genuine fear for his own safety.

He was now drug-free, living back with his parents in Dundalk and was back in education doing a degree in digital marketing.

A probation report revealed he had little risk of reoffending and that he wanted nothing more to do with the drugs trade.

Passing sentence Judge John Aylmer said he accepted he had pleaded guilty and was now making efforts to leave this part of his life behind him.

However, he said Shonukan had been “an active dealer” in Letterkenny and his role was not as limited as he had suggested.

He placed the incident in the mid-range of such offences and one which merited four years in prison.

However, he reduced this to a sentence of two years in prison on mitigation.