A woman arrested last Thursday as part of a paramilitary criminal investigation into INLA crimes appeared in court on Monday on drug-related charges.
The accused, who has been granted anonymity due to ongoing threats by Republican paramilitaries against alleged drug offenders, faces charges of possession and possession with intent to supply quantities of cocaine and marijuana, and suspected possession of heroin.
A detective from the organized crime unit in Limavady, who was granted bail at Derry Magistrates’ Court, said the 23-year-old accused was stopped as she drove down Spencer Road in the Waterside area of the city.
In the back of the car, officers found bags containing 9.5 kilograms of suspected marijuana and a number of vacuum bags, the court heard.
The suspect’s house was then searched and there the police found two grams of suspected heroin, five grams of cocaine, a variety of pills and bags of marijuana transaction. The police witness testified that other suitcases and vacuum bags similar to those found in the car were also found at the accused’s house.
The detective added: “She said it was the first time she had done a drug run but on further questioning she said she had done it twice but we suspect she may have done it given the amount of vacuum bags in it she found. her home, did more than twice. We believe the large quantity of vacuum bags is evidence of other drug smuggling and she admitted committing these crimes to fuel her own drug addiction and to pay off her £800 drug debt progress.
“Police believe she is a trusted courier for an OCG (organized crime gang) closely linked to INLA and other inquiries are to be investigated.”
Bail barrister Paddy MacDermott said: “This young lady is being used by other, more sinister elements who are probably known to the police.”
He added: “She is too afraid to name the names of others she has been involved with. She is addicted to marijuana and has drug debts from several people who used and abused her.”
Bail District Judge Barney McElholm said he knew the police operation had received a lot of publicity over the weekend. He released the defendant on her own bail of £750 with bail also of £750 and ordered the defendant to live at an agreed surety address.
“Any bail violation, and I mean any violation, and she will be arrested,” he said.
The defendant was also not allowed to own an internet device and was not allowed to sit in the driver’s or passenger’s seat of a private vehicle.
The case was adjourned until January 12.
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Source: Bel Fast Live