A Kerry garda had to pose as a farmer in order to keep his cover intact during a surveillance operation.
Evidence was being given during the sentencing hearing of Radoslaw Synowiecki of 49 Woodview Park, Killeen, Tralee, when details of the garda operation were revealed.
The 48-year-old Polish man had pleaded guilty possession of cannabis for sale or supply at Ballyseedy, Tralee on the 25th September 2014.
Garda Sergeant Eoin O’Donovan told Tralee Circuit Court gardaí were conducting a drugs search in Ballyseedy Wood on foot of confidential information they’d received.
When they found a suspect substance, they decided to monitor the area in an effort to apprehend the owner.
A short time later, before Garda Naughten had a chance to hide, the accused approached the area where the suspected drugs were concealed; however, he walked onward, forcing the garda deeper into the wooded area.
When the garda approached a boundary fence with the unaware suspect following, he took on the persona of a local farmer in an effort to keep his identity hidden.
He told the accused to ‘get off his land’, crossed a fence and herded some nearby cattle up towards a farmhouse.
When Mr Synowiecki departed, gardaí found a second stash of drugs near where the accused had accidently followed Garda Naughten.
Within thirty minutes, the accused, still unaware of the farmer’s real identity, returned to the area and was caught red-handed by gardaí.
The court heard over €21,400 worth of drugs were found.
Judge Tom O’Donnell adjourned the sentencing case until March 21st for the production of a probation report on Mr Synowiecki.