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05 Jul 2022

64 cannabis plants found in Louth grow house, Dundalk court told

64 cannabis plants found in Louth grow house, Dundalk court told

Dundalk courthouse

A Lithuanian woman arrested following a raid on a cannabis grow house in County Louth, told gardaí she had returned from a trip to England, to find her home transformed for the cultivation of cannabis plants, Dundalk Circuit Court heard last week.

Judge Dara Hayes was told that explanation was not accepted by gardaí but it was acknowledged the now 44 year old defendant was not the target of the search operation.

The court heard gardaí got no response when they arrived at the then home of Kristina Lazotkiene at The Cloisters, Collon on April 22nd 2020 and as a result they forced entry.

Sixty four cannabis plants with an estimated street value of €51,200 were recovered from various locations in the property, where sapling plants, fertilizer and cultivation units were also discovered.

The defendant told gardai she had returned from a four day trip to England in mid March and found the house had been transformed into a grow house, but the investigating garda said in his experience it would not have been possible to have such a harvest in that time frame.

The Defence barrister said his client, a cancer survivor, was a very small cog in a wheel, having played a role in watering the plants, and was not the target of the Garda raid, while the court heard she had moved from England to Ireland after Brexit and had worked as a cleaner and driving children to school, and found work through a Lithuanian Facebook page which 'dried up' due to the pandemic.

Noting the defendant was of previous good character, Judge Hayes imposed a two and a half year sentence, which he backdated to May 11th last year, when she went into custody, having never applied for bail.

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