Belfast Telegraph

Bail for man accused of £120k cocaine plot

By Alan Erwin

A man charged over a suspected plot to smuggle £120,000 of cocaine into Northern Ireland only crossed the border to buy his partner a birthday gift, the High Court heard.

Brian Gallagher was among four men arrested after two cars were stopped at different locations on the A1 carriageway in Co Down last week.

Two of the co-accused were in a BMW searched near Banbridge. A suspected cocaine package was discovered in its engine compartment.

Gallagher was detained with a fourth man in an Audi vehicle halted close to Dromore as part of the same cross-border operation on June 10.

The 28-year-old, with an address at The Beeches Manor, Stoneyford, Co Antrim, denies charges of importing, possessing and conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

During a bail application it was claimed the cars stopped last week were linked to a suspected drugs handover at a retail park in the Republic.

Gallagher told police he had only gone to Dundalk to buy alloy wheels for his girlfriend's birthday. Granting bail, Mr Justice Horner said he was not satisfied that a proper prima facie case exists. He imposed a night-time curfew, ordered Gallagher to wear an electronic tag and banned him from travelling in a car.

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