A WESTPORT drug dealer who was found in possession of over €16,000 of cannabis has been jailed for five years with the last two and a half years suspended. Donegal native, Pearse Coyle of 9, Lower Carrowbeg, Westport was before last week’s sitting of Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court charged with possession and distribution of drugs.
Detective Sergeant Jim Cadden, of the Mayo Divisional Drugs Unit told the court that on foot of confidential information he called with a warrant to the home of the accused on Friday, May 8, 2015, after he, and his colleagues, failed to get a reply at the house the previous night.
After Mr Coyle’s partner answered the door, the accused had exited the back door carrying a bag of cannabis. A search of the house discovered €16,328 worth of cannabis.
After his arrest he admitted that he was selling the drug for the previous six months but had been an habitual user for some 22 years. He said he was supplying 20 to 30 customers.
The 39-year-old father of two young children told the arresting officers that he had bought the drugs on tick at a wholesale value of €10,500 and sold it for €20 per gram.
His counsel, Diarmuid Connolly told Judge Rory McCabe that: “My client now has a debt of this amount and owes it to some nefarious people.”
The court heard that the accused, who was unemployed at the time of his arrest, went to the UK and worked to pay off his debt as he had ‘got himself into a very serious situation’ with his suppliers.
Mr Connolly said ‘his partner was not at all happy about the trouble he had brought on his family’.
In mitigation, he observed: “She is likely to be a positive guiding force on him and he would be a good candidate for community service.”
Judge Rory McCabe said the Probation Services deemed him to be a moderate risk of re-offending. He noted that Mr Coyle ‘continues to use cannabis and admits that’.
“He is suitable for community service but it is not appropriate. I see no alternative but to impose a custodial sentence.”
He imposed a five-year jail sentence with the last two and a half years suspended for five years. He ordered that Mr Coyle engage with addiction treatment while in jail.