Accused of possessing £15,000 worth of drugs

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

A 25-year-old man has appeared in court accused of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and mephedrone.

Gary McLaughlin, of Roskeen Park, faces a total of seven charges on February 7.

They include possessing cocaine and mephedrone with intent to supply and simple possession of class A and B drugs.

He is further charged with failing to stop for police in the Eastway area of Creggan.

It is alleged McLaughlin had cocaine and mephedrone with an estimated street value of £15,000.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that police were conducting a vehicle checkpoint in Eastway and a car driven by McLaughlin failed to stop.

Police deployed a stinger to bring the car to a stop.

It is alleged McLaughlin was the only person in the car.

When police informed him they were going to search the vehicle, he allegedly admitted he had cocaine in the ashtray.

The court heard claims that police discovered seven grams of the class A drug. In a further search of the 25-year-old, officers allegedly discovered £400 in cash.

During the search, it is alleged that McLaughlin’s mobile phone was ‘very active’ receiving incoming calls and text messages..

Officers examined the phoned and found messages which led them to believe McLaughlin was involved in drug supply.

The court heard that police then searched the 25-year-old’s home and allegedly found 150 grams of suspected cocaine and 750 grams of suspected mephedrone.

Police estimate these drugs have a street value of around £15,000.

Officers also allegedly seized a further £1,100 in cash.

McLaughlin provided a prepared statement during police interview, claiming he did not want to make any comment ‘for fear of reprisals’.

Bail was opposed for fear of further offences.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said his client told police he had been ‘holding drugs for someone else’.

He applied for the 25-year-old to be released on bail with stringent conditions.

District Judge Barney McElholm released McLaughlin on his own bail of £1,000 with one surety of £750 and ordered him to abide by a curfew and wear an electronic tag.

The 25-year-old must also report to police once a week, is banned from possessing or using a mobile phone and banned from travelling in a private car unless accompanied.

He will appear in court again on March 5.