Man charged over €29m cocaine seizure


A man has been granted legal aid after being charged in connection with the seizure of cocaine valued at €29 million.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Gareth Hopkins (33) was a director of a recycling company and a mining company and had interests in a Polish tobacco company. He had also recently received a redundancy payment from a property management company.

Mr Hopkins, Carnlough Road, Cabra, and Leixlip, was charged in the District Court in relation to possession of drugs at Ballycoolin, Dublin, on June 26th.

The court heard that Mr Hopkins had an average annual pre-tax income of about €70,000 over the past three years. Mr Hopkins now gets a €198 jobseeker’s allowance and has a mortgage.

Judge Martin Nolan said Mr Hopkins was “a middle-class enough man”. However, few middle-class people could stand the cost of a two-week trial, which he had estimated would cost a minimum of €35,000. Judge Nolan granted legal aid.

The case will be mentioned again in January.