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Two men appear in court charged in relation to €1.2 million cocaine seizure

John Reynolds (62) and Andrew Lawlor (35) were arrested on Saturday.

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GARDAÍ ARRESTED TWO men and recovered €1.2m worth of cocaine after covertly following a truck when it crossed the border and was stopped in Co. Meath, a court has heard.

John Reynolds (62) from Caltragh, Dromard, Sligo, and Andrew Lawlor (35) from The Paddocks Grove, Adamstown, Lucan, Co. Dublin, were arrested on Saturday after a truck and a van were stopped at Ashbourne Business Centre, Ballybin, in Ashbourne.

They have been charged with possessing cocaine for the purpose of sale or supply.

Mr Reynolds did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody to appear at Trim District Court on July 16 next,

Mr Lawlor was granted bail in his own bond of €1,000 with a €10,000 surety.

He was remanded to appear at Trim District Court on 8 September. 

Directions from the Director of Public Prosecution have to be obtained.

Judge Anthony Halpin heard further charges may be brought.

Objecting to bail being granted to Mr Lawlor, Detective Garda Gavin Curran told Judge Halpin a white Scania truck arrived from the North and was covertly followed as it travelled along the M1.

Detective Garda Curran alleged that later there was an interaction and a handover between the truck driver and Andrew Lawlor, the driver of a Volkswagen Caddy van.

The van was searched and 17 kilos of cocaine were found concealed in an air compressor.

He had told gardai he was using a cover story that he was a tow truck owner, the court heard.

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Cross examined by defence solicitor Lorraine Stephens, the detective agreed that Mr Armstrong surrendered himself later that day.

His phone was also seized.

He did not have a record of taking bench warrants and had lived with his long-term partner at a permanent address, the court was told in pleas for bail.

He had intended to set up a tow truck business but it was affected by the covid-19 crisis.

Judge Halpin set bail with conditions and ordered him to sign on daily at a Garda station, and to provide gardai with a new phone number on which he can be contacted.

Mr Lawlor has not yet indicated how he will plead.

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Tom Tuite

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