£375k worth of drugs seized

A SEIZURE of hundreds of thoursands of pounds worth of drugs in Banbridge in the past week highlights the seriousness of the issue in this area, one local politician has warned.

Two police operations were successful in uncovering £25,000 worth of mephedrone and a staggering £350,000 worth of cannabis in separate incidents last week.

A 34-year-old man was arrested in relation to the suspected mephedrone haul but later released on bail pending further enquiries.

Police then swooped on two locations housing cannabis plants with a street value of £350,000. The investigations at Circular Road in Banbridge and Talbot Street in Newry were carried out on Wednesday September 21, a day after police seized suspected mephedrone in the Limes area.

Kyle Richard Butler, from the Circular Road in the town appeared in court last week facing six charges, including cultivating and possessing cannabis. The 41-year-old was remanded in custody having been refused bail for fear he would commit further offences and due to the fact he had breached bail before. Butler will appear again at Banbridge Court sitting in Newry on October 20.

The sheer amount of drugs seized draws attention to a very serious issue, said Knockiveagh councillor Brendan Curran.

“Prior to these latest seizures, the PSNI have removed over £100,000 worth of drugs from circulation in the district and that, along with their latest successes has dealt a serious blow to those criminals who profit from human suffering,” said Mr Curran.

The Sinn Fein councillor said information from local people is vital in tackling the “scourge”.

“No-one should be mistaken; this problem ranges across all sectors of our society and impinges on the individual’s ability to function properly at all levels within the economy,” he said. “The quantity and value of drugs impounded within the Banbridge area is a stark reminder of the seriousness of the problem. Any information about this criminal business, no matter how trivial it may seem, should be passed on to the police immediately.”