An Irish drugs mule has died in Venezuela – after a stash of cocaine stored in condoms burst open in his stomach.
Martin ‘Butch’ Beirne was found dead in a hotel room by local police on Wednesday.
Two Galway men travelling with him have been arrested and are awaiting trial on drug trafficking charges.
Beirne, in his early 30s and originally from Athlone, was believed to be working for a family gang who control the cocaine trade in Sligo.
He was known to police in Ireland and became involved with the Sligo based crime family during a stretch in prison.
“This is a big step up for these boys,” an Irish police source told the Irish Independent newspaper.
“We thought they were buying from others in Dublin and not importing drugs themselves.”
Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular assistance to the man’s family and an embassy official in Mexico has travelled to Venezuela.