A man accused of storing £200,000 worth of cannabis at his south Belfast home has been an addict since the age of 11, the High Court heard today.
Prosecutors claimed Gary Millar is an experienced dealer with a supply network who trades in gold and cryptocurrency.
But counsel for the 45-year-old insisted he only agreed to keep the haul as a favour to help pay off his own debt.
“He has had a cannabis addiction since he was 11,” barrister Craig Patton said.
Millar, of Agincourt Avenue, is charged with possessing the Class B drug with intent to supply, being concerned in its supply, and having criminal property.
Police discovered five kilos of cannabis in two large vacuum packs during searches at his home on April 17, the court heard.
Mobile phones, an ounce of gold and quantity of cash were also seized in the raid carried out by detectives from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force.
Opposing Millar’s application for bail, Crown lawyer Adrian Higgins contended: “Police believe this isn’t just a street dealer.
“This is an individual who has a well-organised drugs supply network.”
He alleged that the accused converts proceeds from the operation into gold and cryptocurrency.
In a statement provided during police interviews, Millar claimed he owed £1,050 and agreed to store the consignment at his home for someone he refused to name.
However, Mr Patton rejected any portrayal of his client as running a sophisticated drugs empire.
“An ounce of gold may sound like the high life, but it is worth approximately £1,200 — we are not talking a mega fortune here,” he said.
The barrister added: “He has put himself in the mix by saying ‘I took the package and kept it in my house as a favour for someone’.”
Adjourning the case for four weeks, Mr Justice Rooney indicated it was to give police time to continue their evidence gathering investigation.