A drug addict who walked into PSNI headquarters in Londonderry on Friday and claimed ownership of £400,000 of cannabis plants found in a partially-built house the previous day was remanded in custody when he appeared at the city's Magistrates Court yesterday.
Thomas Eoghan Brolly (25), from Coolessan Walk in Limavady, who has previous drugs convictions and who walked into another police station two years ago and claimed ownership of drugs found in September 2012, is charged with possessing, possessing with intent to supply and with being concerned in supplying cannabis.
He was further charged with cultivating a total of 730 cannabis plants.
A police officer told District Judge Barney McElholm that the cannabis plants and other drugs paraphernalia were found by neighbourhood police officers who searched a house under construction at Farkland Road in Claudy last Thursday.
The officers found three electricity cables leading from an industrial generator at the rear of the house into the building.
The officer said that on the following day the defendant arrived at Strand Road police headquarters, where he told police he was "out of my head on speed" and claimed the cannabis plants were his.
She said the defendant served a six-month jail sentence imposed in September 2012 for other drugs offences and that six months after his prison release "he was arrested by police in Limavady on suspicion of supplying drugs to another man, who subsquently died".
Applying for bail, solicitor Paddy MacDermott said the defendant was "possibly a patsy" for someone more sinister who was higher up the chain of drugs supply.
"He seems to have been inveigled, for whatever reason, into taking the rap for someone else and by his actions he has effectively put his head in the noose," he added.
Refusing bail, the District Judge said the supplying of drugs "involves a many-headed hydra and the only way to combat it is to chop off all the heads, be they big or be they small.
"The problem has to be tackled at every level."
The defendant was remanded in custody until he appears in court for a video-link hearing on November 13.