Londonderry man refused bail on drugs charges

Londonderry Magistrates Court
Image caption A police officer said there would be evidence that the man was in the vicinity of the drugs

A man described as a "trusted and important" member of an organised crime gang has been refused bail at Londonderry Magistrates Court.

He faces a total of 12 charges relating to the supply of class A and class B drugs between December 2013 and August 2014.

The man, from Londonderry, cannot be named because an anonymity order has been imposed by the court.

He was remanded in custody on Monday to appear again on 14 May.

The court was told that police had intercepted six different drug operations with drugs valued at £2.1m.

They believed the defendant was involved in five of those operations.

A detective said that the man had a mobile phone that he used for friends and family and another phone he used during drug operations . The officer added that there was evidence of "significant contact" with the principal in the gang on his "dirty phone".

Bail was opposed on the grounds that the man could flee the jurisdiction and that he could reoffend in order to recoup the losses the gang had suffered.

A defence solicitor said there was no question his client would not turn up and asked the officer if the man had handed himself in to police and was told that he had.

Refusing bail, the judge said that this was clearly "a significant and sophisticated" crime gang.

He said one of his concerns was the amount of drugs involved and the sophistication of the organisation behind it.