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Trinity College Dublin alumnus admits smuggling cocaine

May 30, 2013 at 12:18 AM   |   Comments

DUBLIN, Ireland, May 30 (UPI) -- A graduate of Ireland's oldest university admitted Wednesday he smuggled millions of dollars worth of cocaine into the country.

Gareth Hopkins, 33, faces 10 years to life in prison, the Irish Examiner reported. Dublin Circuit Judge Mary Ellen Ring scheduled sentencing for June 10, saying she needs time to consider submissions to the court in support of Hopkins.

Hopkins has an unusual background for a drug defendant with an honors degree in computer science from Trinity College Dublin and years of employment with a real estate company. His attorney, Patrick Marrinan, said Hopkins hopes to earn a doctoral degree in prison.

Investigators said Hopkins, who was arrested last year, was involved in smuggling almost a half ton of cocaine of a high degree of purity into the port of Dublin concealed in wooden flooring planks. The value of the cocaine was estimated at almost 30 million euros ($39 million).

Marrinan called the drug smuggling "completely and utterly out of character." He said his client made large contributions to charities before his arrest and has put his time in Cloverhill Prison to good use by taking music lessons and working as a trusty in the gym.

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