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Saturday, 14th September 2019

Man driving erratically on M1 had 120 kilos of Benzocaine in car

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The large haul of Benzocaine which was found in the boot of the car on the M1.

A man who was stopped by traffic Gardaí after they observed him driving erratically on the M1 at Whiterath, County Louth turned out to have 120 kilos of a cocaine cutting agent called Benzocaine worth about €50,000 in the boot of his car.

The man, who is in in his fifties, was arrested twice in the past couple of days and is due to appear before a special sitting of the District Court today.

The first arrest came on Wednesday last, September 11) after Gardaí from Louth Division and Road Policing Unit observed a northern registered car being driven in an erratic manner on the M1 at Whiterath, County Louth. 

The 52 year old driver was arrested at the roadside and taken to Dundalk Garda station where a sample was taken from him and he was charged to appear at the next Court sitting. 

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A search of the vehicle located a large quantity of powder in plastic containers.  Approximately 120 kilos was recovered and it has been confirmed to be Benzocaine. 

Benzocaine is not currently a controlled drug but is used as a mixing or cutting agent for high purity cocaine.  The estimated street value of the seizure is in excess of €50,000.

On Friday 13th September, 2019 the suspect was rearrested following his release on bail for the road traffic offences and was detained at Drogheda Garda Station under Section 4, Criminal Justice Act, 1984 for the proper investigation for possession of Benzocaine.

He has been charged in relation to this investigation and is due to appear before a special sitting of a District Court, to be arranged this morning, Saturday 14th September, 2019.

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