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Accused remanded after police dog Billy sniffs out £25k cannabis haul

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A Co Antrim man has been remanded in custody after being charged in connection with the discovery of £25,000 worth of drugs sniffed out in a series of hides in Portrush.

William Meneice (59), of Glentaisie Park in Portrush, faces a series of allegations after the drugs were discovered by police dog Billy on Sunday. He is charged with possessing cannabis, possession of cannabis with intent to supply, and being concerned in the supply of the drug.

He is also accused of possession of diazepam and having it with intent to supply.

A police officer told Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday she believed she could connect him to the charges and opposed bail.

She said the alleged offences were committed at a time when Meneice, who has 99 previous convictions, was on a suspended sentence for drugs crimes.

The officer said £800 worth of herbal cannabis was found under a wheel arch of a Hyundai Tucson vehicle belonging to the defendant, and £3,500 cash was found in wooden blocks in a rear yard at the defendant's home.

Almost 200 diazepam tablets were found at a garage, and Billy helped unearth £25,000 worth of herbal cannabis nearby.

The officer said there were a number of hides.

The court heard that when interviewed, the defendant denied any knowledge of the drugs.

He claimed the money was from scrap metal dealing and didn't keep it in the house in case it would be stolen. He said the diazepam belonged to somebody else. The officer feared the defendant would try to commit further offences to recover his loss.

A defence lawyer said no drugs were actually found in Meneice's house. The lawyer said the Hyundai had been parked for seven days and the defendant had no knowledge of the drugs.

District Judge Peter King said it would have been a difficult enough bail application given the amount of drugs and money found without factoring in the defendant's 99 previous convictions, including Crown Court convictions for drugs offences.

He refused bail, saying there was a clear risk of further offending, and Meneice was remanded in custody to appear back in court next month.

Belfast Telegraph


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