Belfast Telegraph

Drug dealer's car and £30k in cash seized to help pay for addict rehab

A self-confessed drugs dealer has had his Audi car seized and sold off and the proceeds donated to drug counselling services.

He also had £30,000 in cash deemed to be from his illicit activities confiscated.

Edward Gallagher (36) from Mullaghboy Heights in Magherafelt was jailed for three years at the Crown Court in Londonderry after he admitted possessing, possessing with intent to supply and being concerned in supplying cocaine.

He also admitted possessing with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of 4-methylethcathinone, also known as 4-MEC. It is a chemical that bears a chemical resemblance to mephedrone.

He committed the offences between May 2012 and March of last year.

As well as jailing Gallagher for three years, Judge Philip Babington also made a confiscation order in relation to the £30,000 in cash which was found when the police searched his home.

Gallagher told the police the money was income from his painting and decorating business.

Judge Babington also ordered that an Audi A4, owned by Gallagher, should be sold and the proceeds of the sale should be divided between the organisations HURT and North West Drugs Counselling.

The judge said that Gallagher was stopped by police driving on the Highfield Road in Magherafelt on the evening of June 9, 2012.

Inside the car, the police found 4.3 grams of cocaine of a purity level of 34%. The police also found 160 grams of 4-MEC and 735 grams of herbal cannabis.

The police examined Gallagher's two mobile phones and found over 1,000 text messages relating to him supplying drugs.

The value of the drugs seized was between £25,000 and £47,000.

Gallagher was released on court bail, but on March 15 of last year, his house was again searched and this time the police found 28 bags, each containing about one gram of cocaine of a purity level of between 8% and 12%.

Judge Babington said Gallagher had previous convictions for drugs offences and he committed some of the offences when on bail.

"It is quite clear you are a drugs dealer," Judge Babington told Gallagher.

"You supplied a variety of illegal drugs to people and to other small dealers."

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