Belfast Telegraph

Soldier allegedly linked to £240k worth of amphetamines discovered in Co Antrim garden shed, court hears

By Alan Erwin

A soldier is allegedly linked to £240,000 worth of amphetamines discovered in a Co Antrim garden shed, the High Court heard today.

The consignment was seized during searches of Craig Adair's home following an investigation into the suspected theft of his personal protection weapon, prosecutors said.

A sports bag containing nearly 14 kilos of the drugs was found behind the property at Doagh Road, Newtownabbey on August 25.

Details emerged as Adair, whose military career includes tours of duty in Afghanistan, was granted bail.

The 25-year-old faces charges of possessing amphetamines with intent to supply, having herbal cannabis, and offering to supply speed, Tramadol and Oxycontin.

He is further accused of failing to comply with firearms certificate conditions and motoring offences.

Two women, aged 46 and 27, were also arrested as part of the operation surrounding the seizure.

Police launched an investigation after speaking to Adair about a pistol he claimed had been stolen from him.

Conor Maguire, prosecuting, said the defendant handed over his mobile phone to corroborate his version of events.

Checks on the phone uncovered text messages allegedly offering various drugs for sale.

A search operation was carried out at the Doagh Road address, with the suspected amphetamines worth up to £240,000 found in the rear shed.

In a statement to police Adair denied any knowledge of that consignment and insisted he would not be forensically linked.

Defence barrister Richard McConkey argued that the shed was unlocked and located close to a communal area.

Counsel revealed that Adair has served in an undisclosed regiment for eight years.

"He served a number of tours of duty, including a nine-month tour of Afghanistan," Mr McConkey said.

"He signed himself off work very recently due to difficulties he was suffering with mental health due to some of the things he has witnessed."

The barrister also emphasised how Adair had reported his gun missing and surrendered his phone to police.

Mr Justice Maguire was told the accused has since been suspended by the Army.

But despite police objections, the judge ruled Adair could be granted bail to live under curfew at a relative's address.

He must report to police three times a week and abide by a ban on using a mobile phone.

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