A £350,000 herbal cannabis seizure was smuggled into Northern Ireland by lorry from England, the High Court heard.
Suspects were arrested as a 17kg consignment of drugs was being unloaded in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim.
Prosecutors claimed a crime gang was involved in shipping the drugs by ferry and road.
Details emerged as one of five men accused over the recovery was granted bail.
Philip Gillespie (40) of Shore Crescent, Belfast, is charged with conspiracy to supply Class B drugs.
The court was told police swooped on a DAF Transporter truck in Carrickfergus in August.
Four other men were arrested as boxes containing the cannabis were being lowered off the vehicle.
Kate McKay, prosecuting, said the truck had travelled on the Holyhead to Dublin ferry. It was met by a Vokswagen Bora on the AI near Dromore, with the two vehicles then travelling north.
Gillespie was not detained at the scene. He was charged over alleged telephone links between him and the driver of the car.