Drug dealer held in Spain remanded in Ballymena court

Ballymena court
Ballymena court

An on-the-run drug dealer who was captured in Spain has been remanded into custody in Northern Ireland.

Mark Dunford, 41, appeared in court in Ballymena, Co Antrim, following his arrest in Spain on June 25.

He was detained under a European Arrest Warrant.

The absconder, who is originally from Waterford in the Republic of Ireland but had been living in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, failed to appear for a sentence hearing last February having admitted supplying amphetamines.

Dunford, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to involvement in illegal drug supply in Coleraine and Ballymena after police seized almost £900,000 of drugs in September 2012.

During a brief hearing on Wednesday, deputy district judge Laura Levers remanded him in custody to appear before the sentencing judge in a Crown Court on July 27.

Bearded Dunford, wearing a red jacket, blue checked shirt and jeans, replied: “Aye, no bother.”

A detective sergeant earlier confirmed the defendant had been detained under the terms of a European Arrest Warrant.

A solicitor for the drug dealer said he had no questions for the officer. He applied for legal aid for his client.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland’s efforts to trace Dunford were assisted by the National Crime Agency and Spanish police.