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Alleged gang leader was 'at the top of crime pyramid'

By Alan Erwin

Published 03/04/2015

The alleged head of a crime gang trying to import millions of pounds worth of drugs into Northern Ireland must remain in custody, a High Court judge ruled
The alleged head of a crime gang trying to import millions of pounds worth of drugs into Northern Ireland must remain in custody, a High Court judge ruled

The alleged head of a crime gang trying to import millions of pounds worth of drugs into Northern Ireland must remain in custody, a High Court judge ruled.

Mr Justice Maguire refused Declan Gallagher's bail application after hearing claims he was at the top of a criminal "pyramid" with links to both loyalist and republican paramilitaries.

Prosecutors also said he has connections in Spain and may flee if released.

Gallagher (32), originally from Londonderry but with an address in the north of England, faces 17 drugs-related charges. The alleged offences, spanning a period between September 2013 and October 2014, are linked to an investigation into a series of cannabis and cocaine seizures.

More than £2m worth of drugs have been recovered and 18 people charged as part of the ongoing probe.

Gallagher is accused of multiple counts of conspiracy to supply and being concerned in the supply of cocaine and cannabis.

Setting out the former driving instructor's alleged role, prosecutor Stephanie Boyd said: "Mr Gallagher is the top of the pyramid in this case."

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