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Suspended prison term for Dungannon drug dealer

POLICE discovered cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy during the search of a Dungannon drug dealer’s home in April 2017.

When sentencing Ethan Carroll (25) of Newell Road the District Judge at the Magistrates Court took into account that it took almost three years for the case to be prepared. He jailed Carroll for a total of 12 months. With sentences to run concurrently the overall sentence was four months, which he suspended for two years.

Carroll admitted charges of possession of Class A drug cocaine with intent to supply, possession of Class A ecstasy and possession of Class B drug cannabis.

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Defence barrister Blaine Nugent told the court that his client was “used in the drug supply chain”.

On April 21, 2017 police arrived at the defendant’s home and his mother answered the door. There were a number of males standing on the stairs and one ran into a bedroom. An officer followed him and he was detected putting 8.3 grams of cocaine down the side of a bed. He was dealt with in an earlier court hearing.

In a subsequent search, PSNI officers found two bags containing 21.8 grams and 7.6 grams of cocaine, two bags containing 135 and 25 ecstasy tablets, a quantity of cannabis and ‘deal’ bags. They also discovered scales, a number of mobile phones and £550 in cash.

Carroll made no comment during police interview. He had a previously clear record.

Mr Nugent said it was ‘highly unusual’ for a person to come before the court for ‘such serious offences’ with no previous convictions.

He stated, “ Mr Carroll was used in a chain. There was no list or no significant amount of cash although we understand £500 is a lot for a young man. He is a low cog in a wheel used to store drugs for others and made no comment in interview which is common in these cases.

He is in court with his mother and is acutely aware of the causation of drugs having experienced death in his immediate family”.

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Asking that the defendant would not lose his liberty, Mr Nugent added, “This has been hanging over him for three years which is inexplicable in a simple search and find.”

Imposing the suspended jail term, District Judge Michael Ranaghan said to the defendant, “In the good old days the charges would not have been before this court rather the Crown Court. The custody threshold is met in this case given the dangers to other members of the public wherever you are in that chain.

“I am using this as a deterrent. However I can display some leniency given the length of time it has taken to come before the court and your previously clear record.”

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