Alleged ‘High profile drug dealer’ refused bail

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A man described by police as one of the North West’s most high profile drug dealers was refused bail at a special sitting of Derry Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Ivan Richard Brown, known locally as ‘Rocky,’ with an address at Ross Eden Park in Limavady was said to have had four grams of suspected cocaine concealed between his buttocks when searched by police after his arrest on Friday evening.

The 44-year-old appeared in court yesterday on charges of possession of a class A controlled drug, possession of a class A controlled drug with intent to supply and possession of a class B controlled drug.

The investigating PSNI officer told the court he believed he could connect Brown with the charges.

He said Brown, who has a number of previous drugs offences and was sentenced to a 30 month jail term in 2003, had been a police target over the last 20 years and had been the subject of “countless police operations.”

The court heard that the defendant had been apprehended in his car as a result of an intelligence led operation.

Following the discovery of the drugs concealed on his body, police searched Brown’s home where they discovered approximately 28 grams of suspected cocaine and a small amount of cannabis resin at the rear of the house outside the back fence. The PSNI investigating officer said the quantities found had an estimated street value of around £1400.

A defence solicitor told the court her client was likely to plead guilty to the possession charges and that he would be willing to meet any bail conditions imposed by the judge including wearing a tag.

She said it was important to emphasise that the drugs had been found outside her client’s fence. However the prosecution argued that this was a method of hiding substances commonly employed by drug dealers. The prosecution also argued that Brown was “very good at what he does” and said he could operate without leaving his house.

Refusing bail, District Judge Liam McNally said there was absolutely no doubt of the risk of Brown reoffending and remanded him to appear in court again via videolink on May 24.