Derry drug raids planned after phone seizure
Police in Londonderry are preparing to carry out a series of raids as a result of information on a mobile phone seized from an alleged drugs dealer.
An officer told the city's magistrates court yesterday that 1,400 pages of text messages relating to the supply of cocaine and cannabis were found after the suspect's arrest on Thursday.
The 28-year-old defendant, who was granted anonymity, is charged with being concerned in supplying cocaine and cannabis and with possessing and possessing with intent to supply cannabis.
He is alleged to have committed the offences between January of last year and Thursday of this week when he was arrested in his flat.
A police officer told District Judge Barney McElholm that in relation to the anonymity application, while there was no specific threat against the defendant for the drugs offences, he had previously been under threat for anti-social behaviour offences.
The officer said: "As a result of the mobile phone evidence we have obtained, a large number of suspects have been identified and they are potentially facing arrest as the result of this information.
"More searches will also have to be carried out."
The officer said when the defendant's flat was searched on Thursday, police found a meat cleaver, a machete, a knuckle duster, a wheel brace and weighing scales.
Two cars linked to the accused had yet to be forensically examined.
Inside the flat, the police also found a plastic cup which was forensically examined and found to contain cocaine residue.
The defendant was released on his own bail of £750 together with a surety of £750 to appear in court again on November 30.
The accused will be electronically monitored and has to report to the police three times each week.