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Three denied bail after Cookstown drug factory raid

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Detectives from Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Organised Crime Unit seize suspected cocaine at drugs manufacturing factory in Cookstown.

Detectives from Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Organised Crime Unit seize suspected cocaine at drugs manufacturing factory in Cookstown.

Detectives from Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Organised Crime Unit seize suspected cocaine at drugs manufacturing factory in Cookstown.

Three men have appeared in court on charges linked to the discovery of a drugs factory which police believe had the potential to generate cocaine with a street value of £600,000.

Cannabis infused chocolate bars where also found in the police raid at a property in Cookstown, Co Tyrone on Thursday night.

Luke Donaghy (25) from Killymoon Road and Philip Carson (28) of Drumearn Road, both in Cookstown, along with Andrew Farmer (27) of Beltrim Crescent, Gortin are jointly accused of possessing and intending to supply cocaine and cannabis on October 8.

They appeared at a special sitting of Dungannon Magistrates Court on Saturday, where Donaghy faces a string of further charges including importing illegal drugs and transferring criminal property between March and June this year.

Carson is also charged with permitting his home to be used for the production of drugs.

A detective constable said police entered Carson's home on Thursday night and found a hydraulic press in the living room while numerous boxes containing "substantial quantities of white" powder were discovered in the kitchen. Blenders were also located as were compressed blocks of powder, latex gloves, a vacuum sealing machine and plastic bags.

All three defendants were present and Donaghy and Farmer were wearing white Hazmat suits and gloves.

A quantity of the powder tested positive as cocaine and the remainder is believed to have been cutting agent.

In addition, 200 grams of herbal cannabis was located in self-seal bags as well as £9,000 in cash, in bundles of £1,000.

Following arrest, Donaghy refused to speak during interview and Farmer gave 'no comment' responses.

Carson admitted allowing the co-accused to use his property for the production of drugs in return for an agreed payment of £1,000.

He accepted owning the cannabis-infused chocolate and in respect of the seized cash, contended he was "looking after this for another man" but refused to provide a name.

Bail was opposed for all three accused. The case will be appeared again by video-link later this month.

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