Garda checkpoint catches man ferrying MDMA in city centre

Galway daily news Galway had Ireland's third highest number of road deaths in 2021

A man who was caught with MDMA at a Garda checkpoint last year said that he was ferrying it to a buyer out on the town.

Yuri Petrechen (21), of Ballybane was charged with possession with intent to sell, and two counts of possession, for being found with seven packets of foil-wrapped packets of MDMA at garda checkpoint on February 2 last year.

Sgt. Brendan O’Grady told the District Court that on the night in question he was manning a road checkpoint at the Wolfe Tone Bridge, when a silver car approached from the direction of Jury’s Inn at 11:35pm.

Sgt. O’Grady said that he recognised the front seat passenger, who was not named in court, from previous drug-related incidents and saw Petrechen in the back seat trying to hide foil-wrapped packets.

When Sgt. O’Grady approached the car and asked Petrechen what he was trying to hide the young man produced two foil wraps, and a search of the car turned up another four, all of which were found to contain drugs.

At Mill St. Station a search of Petrechen turned up a seventh foil wrap. According to Gardaí the total value of the packets was €240. Mixed in with the MDMA was a large amount of xanax, with 57 tablets found.

Petrechen admitted that the packets were MDMA, but said they weren’t his. According to Petrechen he was delivering them to the Roisín Dubh bar in the city where he would collect €200 off someone for the drugs. He’d get €50 himself for doing this, Petrechen said.

However, Judge Mary Fahy pointed out that there was no evidence other than his own word as to what Petrechen was going to do with the drugs.

Solicitor for the defence Brian Gilmartin argued that his client has no prior convictions and was only transporting the drugs for someone rather than dealing himself, for which he would only have gotten a small amount of money.

In court Judge Fahy said that Petrechen was very young to be involved in drug dealing and criticised the casual manner in which he seemed to be treating his charges, “Your demeanor is one of total lack of insight into this matter.”

Yuri Petrechen received 200 hours of community service for the charge of possession with intent to sell, with an eight month prison sentence if he should fail to complete it.

For the two possession charges the court gave concurrent sentences of 200 hours of community service, with a one month sentence in lieu of completion.


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