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Cavan man charged over €2.5m cocaine seizure


Andrew Phelan

Two truck drivers have been charged after gardai intercepted the alleged "handover" of €2.5 million worth of cocaine in a garage carpark in north county Dublin at the weekend.
Charlie Coyle (58) and Dmitrijs Venskovics (44) both appeared in Dublin District Court on drugs charges following the seizure.
Judge Gerard Jones adjourned their cases to Friday after hearing Mr Venskovics allegedly drove a truck from which cocaine was handed over to a lorry driven by Mr Coyle.

Mr Coyle of Boug, Cootehill, Co Cavan was granted bail subject to a €25,000 surety, while Mr Venskovics, with an address in Neretas Novads, Latvia, deferred a bail application.

They are both charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell or supply at Blake's Cross on Saturday, April 25.

The court heard neither accused made any reply to the charges after caution.
Detective Garda Redmond O'Leary told Judge Jones the value of the drugs involved was two and a half million euros.
Mr Venskovics was not making any bail application today but would on his next court date, his solicitor Michael French said. He would provide an address in this jurisdiction before then, he said.
Det Gda O'Leary told the judge it was alleged Mr Venskovics was the driver of a truck observed by officers after a planned operation was put in place by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.
A "handover" to a second truck was observed by the gardai. The second vehicle was stopped and a large quantity of drugs found in it, Det Gda O'Leary said. 
Three people were arrested and two were before the court, he said.
Der Gda Michael Ormond said the alleged involvement of Mr Coyle, was that he was the driver of the second truck, and took possession of the cocaine from the co-accused in the car park of a garage.
There was CCTV footage and this was also observed by gardai carrying out surveillance, he said.
It was alleged after being a patricipant in the handover, he left the scene in the lorry and was later arrested.
Objecting to bail, Det Gda Ormond said the accused lived outside the state, in Northern Ireland. He had family living in Cavan, but he had been living in the north of Ireland for five to six years and the garda believed he was a flight risk.
Mr Coyle was an "innocent man," was entitled to bail and could reside at the family home address, his solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said, applying for bail.
Det Gda O'Leary said he understood Mr Coyle was not welcome at that address. No bail conditions would allay his fears, he said.
Ms D'Arcy said Mr Coyle was welcome at the family home and would abide by bail conditions.
He was "not a man of means" but friends and family could assist him in getting together €3,000 if he was granted bail, she said.
Det Gda Ormond said Mr Coyle's behaviour had been "perfectly fine" since he was arrested.
Judge Jones said the allegation was that the accused was "effectively caught red-handed." He granted Mr Coyle bail in his own bond of €100 but with a €25,000 independent surety, to be approved by the court.
Under conditions, he is to sign on three times weekly at Carrickmacross Garda Station. The court heard his passport was lost and if it is found, it is to be surrendered to the gardai. If not, it is to be cancelled. He is also to provide a mobile phone number to gardai.
Mr Coyle was remanded in custody with consent to bail and both men will appear in Cloverhill District Court on Friday.
Gardai have said a third man arrested has been released without charge, with a file now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.