A 30 year-old man who ran a growhouse operation on behalf of a Lithuanian drugs gang at Islandeady, near Castlebar, was remanded in custody to Friday next at yesterday's sitting of the Circuit Criminal Court in Castlebar.

Edgaras Stalygas pleaded guilty at an earlier court to possessing and cultivating cannabis in a house which had been rented for him at Cloonan, Islandeady.

When gardai, on foot of confidential information, raided the property on June 9 of last year, they had to force the rear door to gain entry.

The court heard that a total of 90 cannabis plants were discovered in the attic - with a total street value of €72,000.

Gardai claimed the growhouse was part of a bigger drugs operation by a Lithuanian gang who had rented six houses throughout Ireland.

All of the houses had been converted for the growing of cannabis.

The accused has been in custody since June 10 of last year, and his defence counsel told the judge he was merely a 'worker' in the growhouse operation.

The court heard he had lost his passport, but hopes to rejoin his brothers in Germany.

Judge Séan O'Donnabhaín said he would not be able to suspend part of a prison sentence unless the accused was in a position to leave the country.

He put sentencing back to Friday to see whether the solicitors for Mr. Stalygas could get take steps to get a passport, so that he could remove himself from the jurisdiction.





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