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Dee Coleman snaps at photographer after police arrest loyalist during crackdown on major drug dealing

Druglord screams obscenities as elite cops target terror gang

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Career crook Dee Coleman loses the rag with our photographer during Thursday's raid on his Lower Shankill home (Thursday 13, February 2020)

Career crook Dee Coleman loses the rag with our photographer during Thursday's raid on his Lower Shankill home (Thursday 13, February 2020)

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Dee Coleman

Dee Coleman

Photopress Belfast

Police attend a property at Hopewell Cresent in the Lower Shankill, Belfast.

Police attend a property at Hopewell Cresent in the Lower Shankill, Belfast.

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The angry loyalist rants at our photographer

The angry loyalist rants at our photographer

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Convicted UDA drug dealer David 'Dee' Jenkins

Convicted UDA drug dealer David 'Dee' Jenkins

Mo Courtney kept his head down last week

Mo Courtney kept his head down last week

Leadling loyalist Roy Douglas

Leadling loyalist Roy Douglas

Career crook Dee Coleman loses the rag with our photographer during Thursday's raid on his Lower Shankill home (Thursday 13, February 2020)

This is the moment UDA thug Dee Coleman was arrested by cops during a major crackdown on drug dealing by the terror gang.

The 34-year-old extortionist screamed obscenities at a press photographer while covering his face as he was led away from his Hopewell Crescent home by officers from the elite police unit.

Seven other houses were targeted by the Paramilitary Crime Taskforce (PCT) during early morning raids in the Lower Shankill area of west Belfast on Thursday.

Officers' brief was to disrupt the West Belfast UDA's major drug dealing network which has spread into north Belfast, Antrim, Bangor and Newtownards.

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The angry loyalist rants at our photographer

The angry loyalist rants at our photographer

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The angry loyalist rants at our photographer

The terror gang makes in excess of £2.5m per year selling cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy, prescription-only pills, legal highs, and now heroin.

At the centre of the operation is career criminal Dee Coleman, who was expelled from the UDA last year but was allowed back in after agreeing to pay a £10,000 fine.

His younger brother Gary 'Goof' Coleman (26), a convicted cocaine pusher, also handed over the same sum of cash to the terror gang to be given permission to deal drugs from the Lower Shankill.

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Dee Coleman

Dee Coleman

Photopress Belfast

Dee Coleman

Another key player in the UDA's mammoth drugs racket is David 'Dee' Jenkins who was jailed for 16 months in 2017 for running a "sophisticated" cannabis factory in his home. A property linked to the 39-year-old was among the eight searched by PCT officers.

While the raids were taking place, UDA boss 'Dopey' Denis Cunningham and leading loyalist Roy Douglas were seen touring the Shankill estate in cars watching intently.

The pair were arrested by cops last year as part of a financial probe into UDA money laundering. A substantial amount of cash was seized from their homes before they were freed on bail.

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Leadling loyalist Roy Douglas

Leadling loyalist Roy Douglas

Leadling loyalist Roy Douglas

Both Cunningham and Douglas have strong ties to the government-funded Lower Shankill Community Association (LSCA), and their roles in the group are now being investigated by the Charity Commission.

Despite being on police bail, Cunningham continues to be employed by the organisation, while Douglas sits on its board of trustees.

UDA sources, who tipped off Sunday Life about the PCT raids, said the loyalists looked "shocked" by the intensity of the police operation.

"Denis and Roy didn't know which way to look, they were shocked because the raids caught everyone by surprise," said one witness.

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Convicted UDA drug dealer David 'Dee' Jenkins

Convicted UDA drug dealer David 'Dee' Jenkins

Convicted UDA drug dealer David 'Dee' Jenkins

"Dee Coleman's friends and a couple of UDA supporters were on the street ranting and raving at the cops and shouting at the Sunday Life photographer.

"They made fools of themselves. You would think they would be applauding the police for trying to take UDA drugs off the Shankill seeing how many people they have killed."

Tellingly, UDA 'C Company' Lower Shankill boss and convicted killer Mo Courtney was nowhere to be seen during last Thursday's PCT anti-drugs operation.

He too is on police bail after being arrested alongside Cunningham and Douglas as part of a money laundering investigation.

Sources say that since then, Courtney has tried not to get his hands dirty. He prefers to leave the day-to-day running of C Company in the hands of Cunningham, who served a prison sentence for reading a UDA terror statement while wearing his distinctive glasses over a balaclava.

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Mo Courtney kept his head down last week

Mo Courtney kept his head down last week

Mo Courtney kept his head down last week

Among the other UDA members being investigated by cops for drug dealing are its Oldpark commander who once escaped conviction despite a loaded assault rifle being found in his home.

A 43-year-old who was one of the first on the scene of the Shankill bomb, and who now sells cocaine openly in the hallway of a Belfast pub, is another being probed by the PCT. So too is a dog breeder, also aged in his 40s, who locals describe as a "coward" who joined the UDA for protection.

Dee Coleman, who cops believe oversees the UDA's multi-million pound drug dealing rackets, was freed on bail last Friday after being questioned on suspicion of breaching a terrorism notification and drugs offences.

He recently served an 18-month prison sentence for UDA membership, and is currently on licence until the summer meaning he can be returned to jail at any time. Coleman's criminal record also includes convictions for extortion, drugs offences, disorderly behaviour, possessing an imitation firearm, trading in counterfeit products and involvement in a gun attack on a pub packed with UVF supporters. Prior to being jailed for UDA membership, he was C Company's second-in-command - a position he forfeited after being freed.

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Police attend a property at Hopewell Cresent in the Lower Shankill, Belfast.

Police attend a property at Hopewell Cresent in the Lower Shankill, Belfast.

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Police attend a property at Hopewell Cresent in the Lower Shankill, Belfast.

Confirming that eight houses had been searched as part of the PCT's investigation into UDA drug dealing, Inspector O'Neill said: "The Paramilitary Crime Task Force continues to disrupt the activity of organised criminals who badge themselves as paramilitaries. This operation was part of our ongoing proactive investigation into the criminality of West Belfast UDA.

"Various items were seized from a number of properties, including suspected class A and class B controlled drugs and a quantity of cash."

Inspector O'Neill added: "The seizure is another step in our ongoing commitment to preventing dangerous drugs from ending up in local communities and also frustrating the criminal activities of paramilitaries living within them.

"I would encourage anyone with information about the supply of illegal drugs or information about paramilitary organised crime to get in touch with police on 101."

Belfast Telegraph