Court told of drugs swoop near school

Police mounted a surveillance operation against a suspected cross-border crime gang before seizing £300,000 worth of cannabis in County Armagh, the High Court heard on Thursday.

Friday, 2nd December 2016, 11:25 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 3:42 pm

Officers swooped after tracking vehicles travelling in convoy from Newry to Lurgan, a judge was told.

Details emerged as the alleged head of the drugs outfit was granted limited permission to use a car to see his children.

Co Donegal man Desmond Enfield was arrested along with two other men when police discovered nearly 15 kilos of herbal cannabis in a van on Apil 22.

The 33-year-old, currently out on bail to an address in Lisburn, faces charges of possessing Class B drugs with intent to supply and being concerned in its supply.

Prosecution counsel Natalie Pinkerton said: “Police believe that the applicant (Enfield) is the principal of this organised crime gang.”

Officers launched the surveillance in Newry, tracking an Audi A4 allegedly driven by Enfield and a Ford Transit van.

The two vehicles were followed to the Derrymacash Road area of Lurgan, where they were parked along with a Citroen car close to a primary school, the court heard.

She said the cannabis, with an estimated street value of £300,000, was found in the back of the Transit.

It was alleged that Enfield, from the Ramelton area, had travelled to the area to hand over drugs to one of the others.

Defence barrister Declan Quinn argued there is no forensic link between Enfield and the drugs in the van.

Enfield had been banned from being in a private motor vehicle as part of bail granted previously.

But Mr Justice Maguire agreed to relax the prohibition so he can go to Derry to see his children.

The accused must give police 48 hours prior notice and provide details of the car he will be travelling in.