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Bail refused in County Antrim drugs haul case

Category: Northern Ireland

Published: 9th May 2012 17:08:40

Inquiries are being carried out in Leeds into a £450,000 drugs find in Antrim, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors said investigations were underway as they opposed the release of Lisburn man Mark McAleese who is charged over a drugs seizure.

It was claimed he was part of a drugs-supplying gang, with responsibility for holding onto its cash.

Mr McAleese, 36, of Johnston Way, was refused bail due to the risk of any further offending.

He faces charges of possessing and being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs, and concealing criminal property.

Mr McAleese is alleged to have been at the home of two co-accused when police uncovered the haul of cocaine and cannabis last December.

A cocaine press and two suspected Taser stun-guns were also found at that property.

Follow-up searches at his home led to the discovery of more than 28,000 euros and £11,000 sterling, the court was told.

Phone records were alleged to show contact with Pakistan, Holland and the Republic of Ireland.

David McClean, prosecuting, said an email was discovered which related to the purchase and shipment of 'blues' and 'yellows' - types of Diazepam - and how to circumvent the postal system to avoid detection.

The barrister claimed detectives had uncovered cash transfers to others in England.

It was already known that searches had been carried out in the London area.

But with the probe ongoing, Mr McClean disclosed: "Further inquiries have taken place in Leeds.

"There are concerns these inquiries could be hindered if he is released."

Sean Devine, defending, said that the cash found at Mr McAleese's home was explained by his involvement in bringing in Diazepam tablets.

He said his client had been frank about his link to Class C drugs, but denied having anything to do with the cocaine or cannabis consignments.

Denying bail, Mr Justice Stephens held there were no conditions which could remove the risk of re-offending.

He added: "Drugs destroy people and they do so in the most demeaning and degrading manner."

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BBC News, 2012. Bail refused in County Antrim drugs haul case [Online] (Updated 9th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1427484/Bail-refused-in-County-Antrim-drugs-haul-case [Accessed 23rd Jul 2014]

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