A 70-year-old Englishman faces spending the rest of his life in an Irish jail after he was charged with intent to smuggle $120 million worth of cocaine into Ireland.
John Powell was one of three Britons charged at a special sitting of Cork District Court after the cocaine was seized on board a yacht detained by the Irish Naval Service off the Irish coast earlier this week.
The Irish Times reports that (70), Benjamin Mellor (35) and Thomas Britteon (28) were each charged with a single offense relating to the seizure of the tonne of cocaine by the Joint Task Force on Drug Interdiction in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The three were charged with possessing cocaine on board the yacht Makayabella some 217 nautical miles off the coast of Ireland on September 23rd with intent to import the drug contrary to Irish legislation or the laws of any other state.
The arresting offices gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution in respect of each of the three men.
Detective Jerome Twomey of the National Drugs Unit gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution in relation to Powell of Airedale Mews, Silsden, West Yorkshire.
He told the court that Powell replied ‘that’s all clear’ after the charge was put to him after caution.
Detective Tony Holmes of the Cork City Divisional Drugs Unit gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution in relation to Mellor of Bradford in England.
He told the court that Mellor replied, ‘I’m very sorry for what I’ve done’ when he was charged.
Detective Liam Brennan of the Garda National Drugs Unit gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution in relation to Britteon of Grimsby, Lincolnshire who made no reply when the charge was to him after caution.
Police sought a remand in custody for all three to appear by video link at Cork District Court next Thursday for the DPP’s directions.
All three were granted free legal aid and remanded to appear again at Cork District Court on October 2nd.