Duo remanded after £150k of drugs seized

Scales of Justice
Scales of Justice

Two men appeared in court in Derry yesterday where they were remanded in custody accused of possessing £150,000 worth of drugs.

William Duncan, (68), of Moore Street and 50-year-old Paul Rodgers, of Stoneypath, are jointly charged with being concerned in the supply of cannabis and amphetamines.

They are further charged with possession of cannabis and amphetamine with intent to supply, simple possession of the class B drugs, possessing and concealing criminal property.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard that police searched a house at Moore Street under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Officers had to force entry to the house as no-one was present.

The court was told that as a result of the search almost six kilograms of suspected amphetamine was discovered and over four kilograms of cannabis.

The drugs were allegedly found in a hot press. Documentation and cash in the region of £3,700 was also discovered.

As police conducted the search 68-year-old Duncan arrived at the address with Rodgers and both men were arrested.

It is alleged that when Duncan arrived at the police station he made a comment that he was holding onto the material for someone else and did not intend to supply it.

The court heard that Rodgers’ Stoneypath address was also searched and over £6,000 in cash was allegedly found.

During interview, Duncan allegedly told police he had been holding onto the drugs since Christmas but refused to disclose who they belonged to because he was scared. Rodgers denied all knowledge of the drugs.

The court was also told that both men were asked to provide a sample of handwriting because one of the bags allegedly found by police was written on. Duncan complied, but Rodgers didn’t.

Opposing bail an investigating officer told the court Duncan has a previous conviction for drugs offences in France.

She added the pensioner has travelled extensively around the world and has a girlfriend in Sierra Leone. The officer said police have concerns there is a risk of flight.

Turning to Rodgers the officer conceded he has no criminal record but told the court the police searched the Moore Street address in relation to him.

She also alleged the amount of drugs involved indicated involvement in an organised criminal gang.

District Judge Barney McElholm refused applications for bail. He said in Duncan’s case there is a clear fear of further offending or absconding. Referring to Rodgers, the judge said he was concerned by the 50-year-old’s failure to provide a handwriting sample and there is a risk of interference with the investigation.

Duncan and Rodgers were remanded in custody to appear in court again on March 27.