A man charged with possessing drugs, guns and explosives in Derry last December is part of ‘an organised crime gang operating in Derry’ a police officer told the local Magistrate’s Court today.
He was speaking during a bail application for 29 year old Gary McPhillips of 34 Hawkin Street in the city.
He is charged with possessing weapons, ammunition and explosives in suspicious circumstances and also with possessing Class A and Class B controlled drugs with intent to supply on December 20 last year.
The police officer said they were opposed to bail for McPhillips, as they feared he would re-offend and also that he would flee the jurisdiction.
He added McPhilips’ brother was sentenced last week for possessing £800,000 worth of cannabis and they believed that this gang had links in the republic and on the continent.
He said Gary McPhillips had served time in prison in Belgium and that text messages on his phone suggested he was heavily involved in drug dealing. He said that tests revealed that the hand grenades McPhillips is charged with are from the same batch used to kill two police officers in Manchester.
Defence barrister Mr. Stephen Mooney said that it would some considerable time before McPhillips’ trial.
District Judge Barney McElholm said that this was a very serious case and there was quite clearly links with other organised crime gangs.
He said it was unusual in this jurisdiction to see anyone but paramilitaries with this type of weaponry.
He refused bail and remanded McPhillips to appear again on December 12.