Two men in court over £30,000 cocaine find

Lisburn Court.
Lisburn Court.
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Two men have been remanded in custody in connection with the discovery of £30,000 of cocaine in Lisburn.

The two alleged drug dealers, including one who claims he was a “courier,” appeared in court on Saturday morning accused of having half a kilo of class A cocaine with intent to supply.

Standing in the dock of Lisburn Magistrates Court, 32-year-old Martin O’Neill and James Thomas McGrogan (28) were charged with a total of six offences.

O’Neill, from Willowvale Gardens in Belfast, faces two charges alleging he possessed the class A drug and had it with intent to supply on February 11 this year.

McGrogan, from Barnfield Manor in Lisburn, is charged with four offences on Februar 12 alleging that as well as simple possession of cocaine, he had it with intent to supply and that he possessed and concealed criminal property.

While O’Neill and a 56-year-old man were detained after officers stopped a car on the Belsize Road on Thursday night, McGrogan was arrested during follow-up searches.

The man arrested along with O’Neill has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

It is understood that along with what a police spokesperson claimed was high purity cocaine, approximately 50kg of cutting agent was also recovered which police believe was intended to be used to bulk out the Class A drug and increase its street value.

Two high value cars and a large sum of cash were also seized.

In court today Detective Constable McGurk said he knew the facts surrounding the allegations and that he believed he could connect the pair to their respective charges.

Under cross examination from O’Neill’s defence solicitor Garett Green, the officer confirmed he had a clear criminal record and had claimed during police interviews that he had been acting as a courier.

The detective added however that “whilst I acknowledge half a kilo or £30,000 of drugs is not a lot, in his house there was a significant quantity of Benzocaine, a commonly used cutting agent”.

No bail applications were lodged with the court so District Judge Rosie Watters remanded them into custody to appear again on March 7 via videolink.