Man caught ‘by mistake’ with €770 cocaine stash in Donegal nightclub

March 4, 2023

A man found with €770 worth of cocaine in a Letterkenny nightclub has been convicted.

Jack Carville was holding drugs for use by a group he had travelled to Letterkenny with when he was detected ‘by chance’ by Gardai examining CCTV regarding another matter.

Carville, a 23-year-old with an address at Cornamucklagh, Omeath, County Louth, was before Letterkenny District Court.

Sergeant Robin Hennigan gave evidence that he was responding to another incident at Voodoo nightclub at 9pm on October 12, 2021 when he and colleagues were alerted about suspicious behaviour.

Carville was stopped and searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Gardai located 12 bags of suspected cocaine on Carville, who was then arrested on suspicion of being in possession of a controlled drug for the purpose of selling or otherwise supplying it to another.

Tests showed that the substance was cocaine with a street value of €770.

Solicitor, Mr Frank Dorrian, said that Carville came to Letterkenny with a group of friends to celebrate the birthday of one of the group. He said the number of sachets found on Carville corresponded to the number of parties in the group.

“He was detected by chance,” Mr Dorrian said. “On CCTV, a transaction or what appeared to be a transaction was spotted.

“It was deemed a good idea that they would all get cocaine and my client was tasked with the purchase.”

When apprehended and arrested, Mr Dorrian said Carville was ‘shocked’ when confronted with the proposition that he had the drugs for the purpose of ‘sale’.

“He didn’t own it as such and the Sergeant has agreed that it was for distribution rather than sale,” Mr Dorrian said. “Each contributed to the purchase and it does dilute the offence as he didn’t profit from it.”

Carville was accompanied to court by his mother and Mr Dorrian said his client understood ‘the peril’ he had placed himself in.

References on behalf of Carville were submitted to the court and Mr Dorrian said he is a man who has been employed continuously and who is involved in the repair of large industrial machines.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham said Carville had ‘carried out a very foolish act’, but accepted the circumstances as outlined.

“That does not take away from the fact that a Section 15 charge is a very serious one and transactions were undertaken in a nightclub,” Judge Cunningham said.

For the possession of a controlled drug for the purpose of selling or otherwise supplying it, Carville was fined €750. Judge Cunningham allowed the accused six months to pay and marked the charge of possession of a controlled drug as taken into consideration.