Belfast Telegraph

Husband and wife in court following raids against organised crime gang

By Eamonn MacDermott

Three people have appeared in court to face money laundering and drugs charges.

It follows a major cross-border police investigation into "an organised crime gang' that saw raids across Northern Ireland and Co Donegal.

Husband and wife Patrick O'Connor (47) and Misha O'Connor (35), of Stoneypath in Londonderry, face a total of 26 charges between them.

Patrick O'Connor, who faces 17 charges, is accused of conspiracy to supply cannabis valued at £120,000 and also with being concerned in the supply of cocaine.

He faces a series of ­further charges relating to possessing, concealing, converting and acquiring criminal property valued at more than £1 million.

The property was said to ­include cash, both sterling and euros, property and jewellery, ­including Rolex watches and other items.

All of the offences were ­alleged to have occurred between August last year and June 20.

Patrick O'Connor was connected to the charges and a police ­officer said he was "the principal member of an organised crime gang".

There was no application for bail.

His wife faces a total of nine charges relating to money laundering and ­the possession of criminal property, namely watches and jewellery valued at £456,000.

The officer opposed bail for her, stating that she could ­interfere in the further recovery of other "high value items of ­jewellery".

But the officer agreed in response to a question from defence ­solicitor Ciaran Shiels that if Patrick O'Connor was detained in ­custody, it would reduce the risk of Misha O'Connor reoffending.

She was released on bail but has to report to police three times a week, surrender her passport and have no contact with three named individuals.

Both will appear in court again on July 20.

The court was also told that the High Court had frozen all the couple's assets.

Mark Anthony Kelly (41), with an address in Derry, then appeared to face a total of 10 charges.

He was accused of ­conspiring to supply class B drugs, and several charges relating to criminal property including cash of £31,000.

The charges against him cover the period from September 23 last year to May 25 this year.

A police officer connected him to the charges and there was no application for bail.

Defence solicitor Michael Magee said his client would be denying the charges.

He was remanded in custody to appear again on July 20.

Belfast Telegraph


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