Said he was minding £64,000 worth of drugs

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When police searched a house in Portadown they found cannabis with a street value of over £64,000 and almost £5,000 in cash, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Friday.

And a 30 year old man claimed he was only minding the drugs because he was in debt to a drug dealer.

A bail application was made last Friday on behalf of Damien Lawless, Churchill Park, Portadown, who appeared in custody in the dock.

The charges against him allege on November 22 this year he was in unlawful possession of a class A drug, cocaine, and he had the drug with intent to supply.

He is also accused of possession of cannabis and possession of the drug with intent to supply, possession of criminal property and possession of a class A drug, cannabis oil.

Opposing bail a police officer said that on November 22 police carried out a search of the defendant’s home under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

He added that in an upstairs bedroom they found suspected cannabis with a street valued of £64,270 packed into small dealer sized bags.

The officer said there was also 40 grams of a white powder found and £4,933 in cash found loose in the bedroom.

Lawless was not present during the search but later presented himself at Banbridge police station.

He claimed that he was minding the drugs on behalf of a drug dealer to whom he owed money and that he was in fear of this person.

Lawless claimed he was minding the money for his sisters.

A barrister representing Lawless said he had a very limited record .

He added that his client smokes cannabis every day and had run up a considerable debt.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said she did not believe a word about the money and there was a substantial amount of drugs involved.

Judge Kelly refused bail and adjourned the case until December 23.