Personal trainer charged after gardaí intercept van transporting €3.9m worth of cannabis

Jamie Smith (26) was arrested on Friday at Junction 5 of the M1 but denied knowing what was in the vehicle

Pic shows: Court 13 at the CCJ in Dublin where the trial of Graham Dwyer who has pleaded NOT guilty to the murder Elaine O'Hara has opened, Thursday 22-01-2015.
Pic: Collins Courts.

A personal trainer has been charged after the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) intercepted a van transporting just over €3.9 million worth of cannabis in Dublin.

Jamie Smith (26) of Corballis Cottage, Donabate, Dublin, was arrested on Friday at Junction 5 of the M1 southbound, but denied knowing what was in the vehicle. The seizure was described to a judge as a “big loss” for a crime group.

Mr Smith was detained and charged with possessing cannabis resin and herb for sale or supply.

He appeared before Judge Cephas Power at Dublin District Court on Monday, where bail was set at €16,000.


Det Garda Liam Aherne told the court that the accused “made no reply” to the charges. The detective objected to bail due to the seriousness of the case and flight risk fears.

He said that the GNDOCB carried out an operation targeting an organised crime group trafficking drugs in north Dublin. They stopped the rental van driven by Mr Smith, the vehicle’s sole occupant.

Gardaí found 11 cardboard boxes and two sacks containing 187kg of cannabis herb and 30kg of cannabis resin, with an estimated value of €3,920,000, the court heard.

The GNDOCB detective alleged the accused was a “vital cog” for an organised crime group’s distribution of illegal drugs, and he added that “a seizure of this size is a big loss to the criminal group”.

A file will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions recommending further charges, Det Garda Aherne said.

He agreed with defence counsel Miceál O’Connor that he had concerns that the significant quantity “motivated flight”.

The bail hearing was told the accused was interviewed and maintained he did not know the contents of the boxes or packages and that he was “simply driving the van”.

Det Garda Aherne agreed that the case would be dealt with on indictment, meaning it would go to a higher court. The suspected drugs have yet to be analysed, the judge also heard.

The self-employed personal trainer did not address the court and was supported in court by family members, described by counsel as “quite distressed”.

Judge Power set bail in his bond of €1,000 and required the approval of €15,000, of which €10,000 must be lodged.

Mr Smith was remanded in custody with consent to bail to appear again on Friday.