A third person arrested in connection with a Garda investigation targeting a serious organized crime gang pleaded guilty this morning in special criminal court without a jury to having detained more than â¬ 350,000 in cash.
Homas Rooney (41) was arrested in May last year after officers from the Garda National Drugs & Organized Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) intercepted a number of vehicles in Drogheda and discovered hundreds of thousands of euros in vacuum tickets.
Indicted today on a single charge in the three-judge court, Rooney of Betaghstown Wood, Bettystown, Co Meath pleaded guilty to possession of property which is the product of criminal behavior, namely, a blue Nike bag containing â¬ 289,770 and Â£ 65,025 (â¬ 70,207) in cash, knowing this or believing that or not knowing whether or not said property was the product of criminal behavior in Spar, Donore Road, Drogheda, Co Louth on May 11, 2020.
Defense attorney John Fitzgerald SC, representing Rooney, told the court his client may need to have a lung transplant and requested that the case be referred on September 13.
Presiding Judge Tony Hunt, sitting with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge David McHugh, has returned Rooney on continued bail, with a sentencing hearing scheduled for October 4.
Rooney was also charged with possession of property which is the product of criminal behavior, namely a black bag containing â¬ 254,840 in cash, knowing this or believing that or not knowing whether or not said property was the proceeds. of a crime. driving at the same time.
He was further charged with possession of the proceeds of criminal behavior, holding â¬ 7,650 in cash in North Road, Drogheda on May 11, 2020.
Last January Rooney’s former partner, caregiver Catherine Dawson (44), also of Betaghstown Wood, Bettystown, Co Meath pleaded guilty to two counts after being caught moving more than â¬ 600,000 in cash.
Judge Hunt, president of the Special Criminal Court, sentenced her to three years and nine months in prison but suspended her sentence for five years.
He said an important factor in the court’s decision was that Ms Dawson is responsible for the primary care of her 14-year-old son.
Rooney and Dawson were arrested on suspicion of enhancing an organized crime gang’s ability to commit a serious offense.
Their co-accused Jason Reed (40), who the court found to be a “trusted and high-level member of a transnational criminal organization”, was sentenced to seven years in prison.
He had pleaded guilty to money laundering and holding the proceeds of crime in the parking lot, despite being in possession of â¬ 289,770 in euros and Â£ 62,025 (â¬ 70,207) in cash in a blue Nike bag.
Reed, from Maelduin, Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, also pleaded guilty to money laundering at his home after â¬ 32,330 and Â£ 390 (â¬ 441) were found there on May 11 last year.
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