Four arrested over Newtownards cocaine dealing as police link loyalist paramilitary group
Police have established that a loyalist paramilitary group is involved in the supply of drugs in and around Newtownards.
Four men, aged 25, 27 and two aged 31 were arrested on Wednesday and police searched six properties as part of their investigation into the supply of cocaine in the town.
Items including suspected cannabis and rounds of ammunition have been removed for examination.
Detective Inspector Harry Colgan from the PSNI's Reactive and Organised Crime Branch, said: “This investigation has been running for several months.
"It has focused on the sale and supply of cocaine in and around a number of premises in Newtownards.
"Our inquiries have also established links to a loyalist paramilitary group.
“Police are determined to remove dangerous and illegal drugs from our communities.
"We will deploy the full range of resources and tactics at our disposal so that we can bring offenders before the courts and keep people safe.
"We are committed to working with communities to combat the threat posed by illegal drugs, regardless of the source of those threats.”
Police would not say which group they were investigating.
The police confirmation comes a day after the launch of the Loyalist Communities Council.
The UVF, UDA and Red Hand Commando gave their support to the council and pledged to reject criminality and make a "meaningful contribution" to reversing discontent felt within their communities.
Belfast Telegraph Digital