Waterford man pleads guilty to €8.5 million drugs seizure in Midlands

Waterford man pleads guilty to €8.5 million drugs seizure in Midlands

A Waterford man has pleaded guilty and been remanded in custody for sentencing over a seizure of around €8.5 million of cocaine.

It's alleged the drugs were flown into the Midlands in 2022 on a single engine Cessna aircraft.

Garda who were monitoring a Cessna aircraft which landed at Abbeyshrule Aerodrome in Longford, on 4 August 2022 later intercepted two vehicles in the Lough Owel area in Co Westmeath, recovering 120 kilogrammes of cocaine from one car.

Tim Gilchrist of Mavis Bank, Newrath, Waterford has pleaded guilty after he appeared before Judge Keenan Johnson at Mullingar Circuit Criminal Court.


The 56-year-old, who has never applied for bail since he was arrested on 4th August 2022, is accused of possessing drugs worth €13,000 or more for sale or supply at Lough Owel, Irishtown, Co. Westmeath. An offence which carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years

Prosecuting barrister John Hayden BL told the court the drugs seized had a value of about 8 point 5 million euro.

His defence, Michael O'Higgins SC, says Gilchrist had no prior convictions ad applied for an adjournment to prepare documents about his client's good character for the next hearing.

Gilchrist has been remanded in custody to appear before the court on July 2nd for sentencing.


Co-accused Michal Luczak, 43, a Polish national formerly with an address at Primrose Avenue, Jigginstown, Naas, Co Kildare, who was piloting the plane, is charged with the same offence and remains on bail.

The father of two has indicated he will plead not guilty and the court was told his jury trial is expected to last for two weeks,

Judge Johnson adjourned this until April 9th when it will be listed for mention to allocate dates for his trial.