Alleged cocaine conspirator remanded in custody

Court
Court

A Welsh man was remanded into custody on Thursday accused of importing a kilo of high-purity cocaine.

At Newtownards Magistrates Court, doorman Phillip Anthony Jones (37) spoke only to confirm that he understood the two charges against him.

Jones – from Yr Ysgubor, Rhydyfegin – is charged with importing the Class A drug and conspiring to supply cocaine on 17 February, 2011.

He was arrested last Monday.

Police believe the drugs, estimated to be worth around £350,000, may have entered Northern Ireland via an Ecuadorian smuggling route.

Remanding Jones into custody, and granting legal aid, the judge ordered him to appear again on December 11 via videolink.

Jones is the second person to come before the courts in relation to the package of cocaine.

First charged within days of the seizure and then jailed for 14 months later in 2011 was 36-year-old Ferris Wilson Caugher from Rugby Avenue in Bangor.

Also orders to spend a further 18 months under supervised licence conditions, Caugher had pleaded guilty to numerous drug offences including possessing class A cocaine with intent to supply, simple possession of class B cannabis and class A ecstasy and transferring £1,700 of criminal property.

Speaking after Jones’ arrest on Monday, Detective Inspector Andy Dunlop praised the officers involved in the investigation and arrest and said: “This underlines the PSNI’s continuing commitment to identifying those involved in drugs trafficking at all levels.

“We will always robustly follow all available leads and we will continue to uncover information to identify suspects and pursue them.

“The public can be assured that every investigative opportunity will be explored and exhausted, even several years after the alleged crime, to ensure that those involved in supplying class A drugs into Northern Ireland are arrested and held to account.”