Limerick shopkeeper charged with drugs and money laundering offences

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Declan Sheehy at Limerick District Court.

A COURT heard tonight that a Limerick shopkeeper allegedly caught with more than €200,000 worth of cocaine and a large amount of cash told the Garda who arrested him: “I’m fucked now”.

Gardaí charged 56 year-old Declan Sheehy of Janemount Park, Corbally, with possession of cocaine for sale or supply at a special sitting of Limerick District Court.

Detective Garda Sean Twomey, Limerick Garda Divisional Drugs Unit, alleged that Mr Sheehy, who owns and operates a corner shop in St Mary’s Park, was “heavily involved in the sale and supply of drugs in the Limerick region”.

Mr Sheehy was also charged with having more than €50,000 cash which Gardaí suspect to be the proceeds of crime, contrary to the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act.

He was also charged with possession of cocaine for his own use.

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Det Garda Twomey indicated that “further and more serous charges’ arising out of the drug seizure were likely to be brought against the accused.

He said Gardaí believed Mr Sheehy was in the process of mixing cocaine in the kitchen of his shop when officers raided the property on Monday.

Gardaí found an estimated €217,000 worth of suspected cocaine in the kitchen of the shop, as well as more than €50,000 in cash in an adjoining room and over €1,000 cash on Mr Sheehy’s person.

Det Garda Twomey said Gardaí found a “large range of drug paraphernalia, drug mixing agents, weighing scales, an electric blender, a hammer and a large kitchen knife” in the kitchen of the shop.

He said an estimated €130,000 worth of suspected cocaine was found in a large mixing bowl in the kitchen.

“Gardaí suspect Declan Sheehy was mixing cocaine at the time,” Det Garda Twomey told the court.

Objecting to bail, Det Garda Twomey added, “my belief is that Declan Sheehy is heavily involved in the sale and supply of drugs in Limerick, and if granted bail he will engage in the continued sale and supply of drugs, and he will not abide by any bail conditions.”

Mr Sheehy’s solicitor, John Herbert, said his client was married with four daughters and that he had been reared as a child in the shop premises.

He said Mr Sheehy instructed him to tell the court that £2,280 in English sterling notes which Gardai found in Mr Sheehy’s house in Corballly, were part of winnings from bets he made on horses on a trip to Wales.

Judge Alec Gabbett said he had listened carefully to all of the evidence and was satisfied he must refuse bail to prevent the commission of further alleged serious offences.

He remanded Mr Sheehy in custody at Limerick Prison, to appear before Limerick District Court via video-link “for DPP directions and possible further charges” on November 29.