Drug supply evidence ‘was found on laptop’

Court
Court

The seizure of a laptop allegedly led to police recovering nearly £350,000 worth of cannabis, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors claimed an examination of the computer revealed conversations about supplying drugs to addresses in the greater Ballymena area.

Details emerged during a bail application on Thursday by a father-of-five accused of being a leading figure in a gang sending the consignments.

Charles George McFall, 45, of Ballymoney Road in Ballymena, is charged with possessing and conspiracy to supply cannabis and two counts of concealing criminal property, namely cash.

McFall was arrested in June as part of a police inquiry which commenced last year.

Crown lawyer Mark Farrell claimed a laptop seized in July 2017 contained “descriptive comments, conversation and traffic” between McFall and a Chinese national co-accused.

Exchanged messages led to another suspect being contacted about delivering drugs parcels to a number of addresses, he alleged.

Police then seized quantities of drugs and money in raids in Ballymena and elsewhere.

The court was told nearly £350,000-worth of drugs and just over £77,000 in cash was recovered in total.

Mr Farrell said police believe McFall and the Chinese national headed-up the operation, while three other accused allegedly acted as “runners”, moving the drugs.

Defence counsel Ben Thompson disputed the prosecution assertions of his client’s alleged role.

“In an operation of this scale one would expect a slightly bigger figure than George McFall of Ballymena,” he said.

Mr Thompson said the accused was seeking release to be with his children at Christmas. A £5,000 surety was being offered to secure bail.

Adjourning the application, Mr Justice Horner said it was to give police time to make inquiries and confirm their position about the cash guarantee.