27-year-old charged with drug supply

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A 27-year-old man has appeared in court accused of supplying cannabis.

Jason Villa, with an address of Antrim Road, Belfast, is further charged with being concerned in the supply of ecstasy, being concerned in the supply of cannabis and simple possession of cannabis.

The offences were allegedly committed between May 1, 2014 and January 20, this year.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that a mobile phone was seized in August last year as part of a drug investigation and a number on that phone led police to Villa.

He was arrested earlier this year and his phone was seized. It is alleged there were ‘extensive messages’ on this phone relating to drug supply.

The court heard allegations that some of the messages offering drugs were sent to 25 different people.

Villa was arrested and police found £40 worth of cannabis during a search of his home.

During police interview, Villa accepted supplying cannabis.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley told the court his client admits providing cannabis to others.

He added that the 27-year-old works full time in Belfast and will lose his job if remanded in custody.

District Judge Des Perry said he had ‘no doubt’ Villa is involved in the supply of drugs but is not ‘Mr Big in any organisation’.

Villa was released on bail with conditions to appear in court again on April 20.