From cocaine to cattle and corn?
DRUG DEALER WANTS TO TAKE OVER FARM
A COCAINE DEALER who had almost €9,000 of the drug in his home has told Wexford Circuit Court he is now finished with drugs and wants to take over the family farm instead.
Before the court was Alan Donnelly (27) of Kilderry, Ballymitty, who pleaded guilty to having cocaine for sale or supply in his home on March 13, 2009. €8,990 worth of the drug was found there that day when Gardai carried out a search on foot of a warrant.
Garda Alan O'Shea told how Donnelly was arrested and brought to New Ross Garda Station after the discovery was made. While there, he admitted he supplied cocaine in the Wexford area, and also said he had been owed money for drugs. The Garda also told how Donnelly had nine previous convictions, three of them drugs-related.
Donnelly told the court he came from a farming background and received a green certificate in agriculture after doing his Leaving Cert, but had become involved in drugs when he was 16 years old. He spent some time in prison previously, and understood the seriousness of his offences.
He said he is now clear of drugs, and wants to take over the family farm, which is currently let out to other farmers. He hopes to get involved in a Farm Relief Programme to learn the different skills of farming; to keep in contact with the Probation and Welfare Services; and to attend the Employment Services Programme in Waterford.
He apologised for the trouble he has put his family through, and acknowledged they had given him financial help to deal with his problems.
Defence Counsel, Mr Mark Tottenham, said that since Donnelly has already completed a six-month drug treatment programme. He added that the defendant clearly 'went off the rails' for a couple of years, which led to the offence before the court.
Judge Alice Doyle elected to adjourn sentencing for one year, and put the matter back to January 2012. She asked that an updated Probation and Welfare Report be available then, and also ordered the defendant to undergo screening, attend the Employment Services in Waterford, and pay his family back the money he owes them.