‘Stupid’ drug-dealer caught three times by Gardai

November 29, 2023

Undercover gardai caught a Carndonagh drug dealer red-handed after launching a sting operation.

Aiden McLaughlin was nabbed selling drugs on three different dates at a licensed premises.

The 21-year-old, of 22 Millbrae Meadows, Carndonagh, was before Buncrana District Court this week on a series of drug-related charges.

Sergeant Sean McDaid told how gardai conducted the intelligence-led operation combating the sale and supply of drugs in the area in April 2022.

McLaughlin was observed selling cocaine valued at €100 on April 14, 2022. On April 21, 2022 he was caught selling €50 worth of cannabis and subsequently was caught selling €100 of cocaine on April 28, 2022.

McLaughlin was arrested and charged in connection with the three incidents after the occurrence of the third.

He has also been charged in connection with drug-related incidents on three other dates.

On march 5, 2021, gardai observed McLaughlin acting suspiciously. When searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act, McLaughlin was found in possession of three bags of cocaine. Gardai subsequently executed a search warrant at McLaughlin’s home. Gardai found cannabis valued at €186.20, five ecstasy tablets worth a combined €50 and a stash of cocaine, including that located on his person, with a value of €345.72.

At 8.32am on December 6, 2021 Detective Garda Ciaran Kelly executed a warrant at McLaughlin’s home and €30 worth of cannabis was found in the defendant’s bedroom.

A search warrant was also executed at McLaughlin’s home on February 17, 2022 when €140 worth of cocaine and cannabis worth €385 was seized.

The court was informed that McLaughlin has no previous convictions.

“If he is guilty of anything, he is guilty of stupidity,” Mr Ciaran Mac Lochlainn, solicitor for McLaughlin, said. “He is a small town operator. He is in full-time employment and is a single man who lives with his mother.”

Mr Mac Lochlainn said his client has now stopped using drugs and ‘has moved away from this behaviour’.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham directed the preparation of a probation and welfare report on McLaughlin, to include suitability for community service.

McLaughlin was remanded on continuing bail until April 23, 2024. Judge Cunningham noted the presence of the accused man’s mother and told the accused that he ought to be thankful for her continued support.