Former construction worker jailed for holding over €1 million worth of cocaine and heroin at home

John Reeves of Sandyford hid suitcase of drugs in the attic, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court told

A former construction worker who was holding over €1 million worth of cocaine and heroin at his home has been jailed for five years.

John Reeves (58) of Birches Road, Wedgewood, Sandyford, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cocaine and heroin for sale or supply at the same address on October 20th, 2022.

Judge Martina Baxter suspended the final two years of a seven-year prison term on condition that Reeves abide by all directions of the Probation Service, including attending for grief and addiction counselling, training and employment.

Garda Shane Donovan told Liam Dockery BL, prosecuting, that during a search of Reeves’ address, gardaí found a pink suitcase containing eight small blocks of heroin and seven blocks of cocaine. Each block of heroin weighed approximately half a kilo, while each block of cocaine weighed around 1kg. The heroin had an estimated value of around €560,000, while the cocaine was valued at approximately €490,000.


Reeves later went voluntarily to a garda station and said he knew the suitcase contained drugs but didn’t know what type. He said he took possession of the suitcase in a shopping centre car park.

Reeves told gardaí he had addiction issues and financial difficulties, which included a drugs debt. He took responsibility for the drugs and told gardaí his family was not involved.

Reeves has no previous convictions and has not come to negative garda attention since this incident. He previously worked in construction and faced financial difficulties following the economic downturn, the court heard.

The garda witness accepted that Reeves would have had no control over the nature or quantity of drugs he was asked to hold in order to reduce a drugs debt of €3,000. He also agreed that Reeves was afraid for his family and himself.

The court heard that Reeves hid the drugs in the attic without the knowledge of his family. Gda Donovan accepted that Reeves’s account seemed genuine and that he was ashamed of his actions but felt he had no other choice.

The guard also agreed that no evidence of drug dealing had been found in the house and that Reeves had no interest in the drugs.

Mr Bowman said his client had made a “catastrophic error of judgement”. He said his client has taken steps to deal with his addiction issues and evidence of clean urine analysis was handed to the court.

A letter from Reeves was read to the court in which he apologised to the court, gardaí and others for his actions. A number of testimonials were also handed into the court.

Mr Bowman said his client is doing well in custody and is an enhanced prisoner. He has engaged with psychological services in prison and volunteers as a listener with the Samaritans.

Counsel submitted to Judge Baxter that his client’s role was at the lower end of the scale. Mr Bowman asked the judge to take into consideration his client’s early guilty plea, his work history and the fact he took responsibility for the drugs.