Junior coffee trader has been jailed for eight months
The senior coffee trader who had been charged with trading in illegal coffee has been sentenced to eight months in jail.
The 42-year-old, from Ballybunion, Co Down, pleaded guilty to six charges including possession of an unauthorised firearm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence, possession with intent of preparing for a firearm and possession of cannabis.
The trial heard the senior trader was part of a group of traders who were selling illegal coffee in Ballycarron Road, Derry, which had been raided by the National Crime Agency last year.
The group, who were believed to have sold more than 100 kilograms of coffee, were also accused of selling illegal drugs.
The trader, who had a criminal record, had been ordered to pay more than €1,000 in compensation to the victims and their families.
He was arrested in May last year and charged in June.
The court heard he was a “coffee lover” who was involved in a drug ring.
He was also linked to a car theft ring in Dublin which involved a number of victims.
He pleaded guilty in August to eight charges including dealing in illicit coffee, possession and manufacturing, possession by a criminal organisation and supplying cannabis.
Judge Michael Kelly said the offence was “the worst of the worst” and he was satisfied the offence had caused substantial harm to the community.
“You were responsible for causing serious harm to a number, and you are very much responsible for that,” he said.
He imposed a three-year sentence, suspended for six months and ordered him to pay €1.8 million to victims.
The sentencing was adjourned until January 14.