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By Steve Birr
A man in Ireland who got busted couriering heroin during a nearly $1 million deal told authorities he got involved to pay off golfing fees.
Michael Smallhorn, a 57-year-old resident of Dublin, was arrested Feb. 4 2016 with more than 13 pounds of heroin found in a nearby car. Smallhorn allegedly agreed to be a courier for the drugs in exchange for 200 euros, which he never received. He was instructed to leave a Citroen car parked on a street with the keys left inside near a park in Walkinstown, a suburb of Dublin, reports The Irish Times.
Smallhorn was told to get a cup of tea while someone came to remove contents from the vehicle’s boot. The Garda, the Irish state police, arrested Smallhorn while he was sitting in his personal car after authorities received confidential information about the deal.
At a hearing in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Smallhorn told the judge he was unaware of the scope of what he got involved in, claiming he was only trying to get money to pay off golfing fees.
“If I’d have known it was that much I’d never have gone near it,” Smallhorn allegedly told detectives when they showed him the seized drugs, according to Independent.
Judge Pauline Codd said during the hearing she was “having difficulty assessing his motivation,” and ultimately suspended a five-year sentence, provided he keeps clean and participates in community service for victim awareness.
Smallhorn allegedly also purchased heroin around the time of his arrest for personal use. His attorney, Breffni Gordon, said his client started buying heroin for his younger brother, an addict, after he started calling their mother for drug money.