Dungannon man in court over seizure of £35K drugs and £50K cash

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A Dungannon man has appeared in court accused of being involved in the supply of drugs and criminal activity in south Tyrone and Mid Ulster.

Ashley Boyd 24 from the Fairfields Estate was accused of possessing the Class A drugs cocaine and MDMA, as well as the Class B drug cannabis, all with intent to supply.

It is our belief the defendant is involved with others in the supplying of drugs in the Dungannon, South Tyrone and Mid Ulster areas

He is further accused of concealing criminal property and possessing a quantity of counterfeit currency.

The court heard police stopped a black car at 1.30am on Thursday just outside the village of Caledon, arresting Boyd and two other males who were in the vehicle.

A search recovered a rucksack containing “a considerable amount of cash”. Boyd’s home was searched, the officer continued, with the discovery of a substantial amount of drugs and various associated equipment including scales, bulking agents, mobile phones and plastic bags in the garden shed.

Boyd remained impassive during the hearing while some of his relatives in the public gallery cried as the details of the case were relayed to the court.

The detective said: “We estimate the drugs to be valued in the region of £35,000 and the cash to be around £50,000.”

Opposing bail he said,:“The existence of cocaine leads police to believe there is an element of organised criminal activity. It is our belief the defendant is involved with others in the supplying of drugs in the Dungannon, South Tyrone and Mid Ulster areas.”

Under cross examination by Boyd’s defence, the detective confirmed there is no previous record and there had never been any suspicions of involvement in organised crime. He further confirmed the offences are strenuously denied.

The detective added: “We are shocked this quality of drugs was recovered in the defendant’s home.”

Applying for bail the defence submitted the two co-accused had been released on police bail and he saw, “No basis to distinguish between them” and his client.

“There is a workable defence in this matter and I submit bail could be granted.” he concluded.

Refusing the application however, District Judge John Meehan said: “I’m sure this has come as a huge shock not only to police but also to the family. However it is my duty to protect the public. I cannot overlook the dimensions of the items seized in this case.”

Judge Meehan continued, “I cannot also overlook the fact that organised crime does not let people simply walk away. Persons in these instances are extremely vulnerable to approaches from individuals. There is a strong prosecution case against the defendant. I must also think of the victims of the drugs world. One has to consider the safety of those individuals also.”

Boyd was remanded into custody to appear again by video-link next month.