A drug courier who was caught in a garda operation targeting a Shannonside criminal has been given a 12-year jail sentence, with two years suspended.

John Costello, 26, of Kileely in Co Limerick, pleaded guilty to having unlawful possession of 3kg of amphetamine tablets, valued at €45,000, for sale or supply on 1 September 2004.

A garda witness told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that members of the National Drugs Unit discovered the drugs when they stopped a car carrying Costello and another man at Mountrath, Co Laois.

The drugs were destined for distribution in Limerick and Clare.