Belfast Telegraph

Police find £70k of cocaine in north Belfast bedroom, court told

Belfast Magistrates' Courts (Niall Carson/PA)
Belfast Magistrates' Courts (Niall Carson/PA)

By Alan Erwin

Police discovered £70,000 worth of cocaine after breaking into a locked bedroom in north Belfast, a court has heard.

Two alleged street dealers located inside the room were arrested during Thursday's raid in the Ballysillan area.

Brian Gribben, 20, of  Silverstream Crescent, and 21-year-old Darryl Cromie, from Benview Drive - both in Belfast - appeared before the city's magistrates' court on charges connected to the seizure.

Both men face counts of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply.

Cromie is further charged with having Class B cannabis with intent to supply and possessing fireworks without a licence.

An investigating detective said police entered the house after a woman smoking at the front door told them more people were upstairs.

Voices were heard in a locked bedroom, but nobody opened the door.

"Entry was forced and the two defendants were sitting on the bed," the detective said.

"The drugs were in a rucksack."

Tests on the compressed block of cocaine established an estimated street value of £70,000.

Opposing bail, the detective added: "This seizure is believed to relate to a larger supply and an organised crime gang, with other members who have not been identified at this time."

She claimed the two accused are involved in active street dealing.

Solicitor Michael Madden, representing both defendants, argued that no cash or trappings of wealth had been discovered.

He also told the court Cromie claims he was only in the room for two minutes before police arrived.

However, refusing bail to both accused, District Judge Fiona Bagnall held that the seizure appeared to be part of a "bigger operation".

Gribben and Cromie were remanded in custody to appear again by video-link in four weeks time.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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