UVF chief David McConnell was stopped as part of a series of police raids across East Belfast on Friday.
McConnell, a close associate of terror chief Stephen Matthews, was detained and questioned before being released. It is understood a file is being prepared for the Public Prosecution Service over alleged comments on social media. McConnell was released on Friday evening, ahead of the appearance in court yesterday morning of four men on drug charges.
Darren Baine (29) and Mark Rainey (39), both from Belfast, and Co. Down man Andrew Crawford (27) are accused of supplying cocaine. Belfast Magistrates Court was told the UVF has been “flooding the streets of Belfast” with drugs. It is alleged Baine, of Cheviot Avenue, is part of a drug-dealing network linked to the UVF terror group. He was described as having a “key role” in the drug-dealing operation.
When asked by the judge about his client’s occupation, a defense solicitor said Maine did not work or receive benefits but has “a small amount of savings”. He was refused bail because of a ” real risk” of more offences being committed. The court heard that suspected cocaine with a street value of £15,000, as well as UVF flags, were found in the home of Andrew Crawford, of Carndore Grange in Newtowards. He was also refused bail, with the magistrate citing the “significant amount” of cocaine allegedly found in the defendant’s home. Rainey, of St Patrick’s Walk, did not apply for bail and will appear in court again by videolink next week. A 22-year-old man also appeared in court accused of drugs offences was released on bail. The judge ruled that the case against him was a “standalone” case and separate from the other three. The four men were among nine who were changed after a operation on Friday by the RUC/PSNI’s paramilitary crime taskforce.
Eleven men had been arrested after raids at 14 properties in Belfast, Newtownards and Commercial in Co Down. Class A drugs and “high value” cars were seized during the operation. Four men, aged 32, 47 and two 48-year-olds, will appear at Belfast Magistrates Court next month charged with being concerned.in the supply of a class A drug. Another man, aged 32, who was arrested on suspicion of a class A drug with intent to supply has been released on bail pending further injuries. A 40-year-old man arrested on suspicion of procession of a class B drug, intimidation and improper use of electronic communications has been released to be reported to prosecutors. The charge will.be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service.
With many thanks to: The Sunday World for the original posting.
Follow this link link to find out more about sex offender Davy McConnell: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-24335982