A woman who appeared before Longford Circuit Court earlier this week charged in connection with the discovery of €120,000 worth of cannabis in Edgeworthstown admitted she had signed for the delivery of the drugs because she was asked to do so by another person.
Sandra Erajaroh, 12 Chapel Lane, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford appeared before Judge Keenan Johnson charged with being in possession of the drugs at her home in Edgeworthstown in 2015.
The court heard that a parcel containing the drugs had been intercepted by sniffer dogs at an An Post sorting office in Portlaoise in September 2015 and officials there subsequently contacted the Gardaí.
Meanwhile Longford Gardaí in conjunction with the divisional drugs squad set up a sting operation on December 22, 2015 and watched the defendant as she signed for the parcel containing the illegal substance.
The court was told that the parcel contained buddha ornaments and that upon closer inspection, held within the goods was 6kg of cannabis.
The court also heard that the defendant signed for the goods using a false name and was promised money and some cannabis for her endeavours.
“The defendant signed for the package with a false name - Jane Brady - and she was subsequently arrested under the Drug Trafficking Act and taken to Granard Garda Station,” Garda Lorna Scanlon told the court sitting.
The court then heard that the defendant, while being questioned by the Gardaí, said that she had been acting on the orders of a friend in Dublin - Caca - whom she added, “asked me to sign for a package in Edgeworthstown”.
Meanwhile, Garda Scanlon said that the defendant told gardaí that she was to received €500 and a quantity of cannabis for accepting the package.
The court was also told that Ms Erajaroh has been living in Ireland for 12 years and while she had four children she now lived with her 12-year-old daughter in the mid-Longford town.
The court also heard that the defendant was divorced from her husband.
State prosecutor Shane Geraghty BL then pointed out that while in custody, the defendant admitted to being a cannabis user.
Meanwhile, in her direct evidence to the court, the defendant told Judge Johnson that she had “made a mistake” by signing for the cannabis in the first instance.
She also told the court that she suffered from chronic neck pain and “sometimes smoked cannabis” for it.
“I did not know ‘Caca’ but he used me; I signed the name of Jane Brady - it was ‘Caca’ who told me to do that,” the defendant continued, before pointing to her chronic pain problems and the fact that she “sometimes” smoked cannabis for pain relief.
Defence counsel, Mr Shortt BL then asked the defendant if she was aware that it was illegal to smoke cannabis to deal with neck pain in Ireland.
“I can’t work now because of my neck pain,” Ms Erajaroh continued.
“I have applied for Disability Benefit.”
Mr Shortt then probed the defendant further.
“Are you aware how serious this matter is?
“Do you know the effect these drugs have on the people who unfortunately go on to consume them?”
The defendant then said that they were not her drugs, she just collected them for someone else.
“At the time I had a lot of bills to pay,” she added.
In mitigation, Mr Shortt said that the quantity of the drugs was very large and the matter before the court was a “very serious case”.
He went on to say that the health of the defendant raised a lot of issues around cannabis use and he would therefore need time to prepare a report for the court.
“She certainly was at the lower end of the criminal enterprise and yet she is also a cog in the wheel of putting those drugs onto the market,” Mr Shortt continued.
“She did cooperate with gardaí and made admissions.”
Before adjourning proceedings, Judge Johnson added, “She has to accept responsibility for her role in this”.
The matter was subsequently adjourned to later this week when the Judge will rule in the case.