Personal Trainer Bailed Over €...


Personal Trainer Bailed Over €3.9m Cannabis Haul

Laura Donnelly
Laura Donnelly

05:50 2 Jun 2023

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A personal trainer charged over a seizure of just over €3.9m worth of cannabis in Dublin has been released on bail pending directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Jamie Smith, 26, of Corballis Cottage, Donabate, Dublin, was arrested on May 26 at Junction five of the M1 southbound but denied knowing what was in the vehicle.

During a bail hearing on Monday, the seizure was described by a Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau detective as a "big loss" for a criminal group.

Mr Smith is charged with possessing cannabis resin and herb for sale or supply.

His bail was set at €16,000 and he was held pending a €10,000 lodgement. He faced his second hearing today at Dublin District Court.

He was released to appear again in September.

A file will be submitted to the DPP recommending further charges, Detective Garda Liam Aherne said.

Detective Garda Aherne had told the bail hearing earlier that the accused "made no reply" to the charges. The detective objected to bail due to the seriousness of the case and flight risk fears.

He said that the GNDOCB carried out an operation targetting an organised crime group trafficking drugs in north Dublin. They stopped the rental van driven by Mr Smith, the vehicle's sole occupant.

Gardai found 11 cardboard boxes and two sacks containing 187 kg of cannabis herb and 30 kg of cannabis resin, with an estimated value of €3,920,000, the court heard.

The GNDOCB detective alleged the accused was a "vital cog" for an organised crime group's distribution of illegal drugs, and he added that "a seizure of this size is a big loss to the criminal group".

He agreed with defence counsel Miceál O'Connor that he had concerns that the significant quantity "motivated flight".

The bail hearing was told the accused was interviewed and maintained he did not know the contents of the boxes or packages and that he was "simply driving the van".

Detective Garda Aherne agreed that the case would be dealt with on indictment, meaning it would go to a higher court. The suspected drugs have yet to be analysed, the judge also heard.

The self-employed personal trainer did not address the court and was supported in court by family members, described by counsel as "quite distressed".

The barrister said Mr Smith would abide by any conditions.

Judge Cephas Power had set bail in his bond of €1,000 and required the approval of €15,000, of which €10,000 had to be lodged.

Mr Smith must sign on daily at a garda station, surrender his identity card and not apply for a passport, and provide gardai with a contact phone number.

Reporting by Tom Tuite

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