Cookstown police thank public for helping snare heroin drug gang


Cookstown police have today thanked the community for helping them disrupt a local drug dealing operation which resulted in five men receiving custodial sentences.

Helio Goncalves (35), Antonio Sousa (49), Jorge Patricio (40), Felipe Damas (32) and Carlos Rolo (49) were charged with possession of heroin and possession of heroin with intent to supply, a total of 28 charges were laid, following a series of searches across Cookstown on August 19 2013. The searches were the culmination of an investigation into the supply of suspected class A drugs in the local area which were initiated following concerns raised by the community.

Mr Rolo was sentenced to 18 months (9 months in prison followed by 9 months on licence), while the remaining defendants received a 24 month sentence (12 months in prison followed by 12 months on licence) at Dungannon Crown Court yesterday (September 11) after pleading guilty earlier this year.

Sector Inspector Danny Walsh welcomed the sentence and stressed that police in Cookstown will continue their robust policy against this type of criminality.

“It’s important to stress that these searches came about as a result of the community sharing concerns about suspected drug dealers in their area with police. The searches, which led to the arrests and successful prosecutions were conducted by officers from the local crime team in Cookstown and assisted by local detectives and officers from other departments within PSNI. The proactive operation demonstrates our commitment to putting dealers on the back foot and playing our part in keeping the local community safe from the serious harm posed by drugs and the people that sell them.

“While we welcome today’s prosecutions, police will not be complacent and will continue in our efforts to disrupt the sale and supply of illegal drugs and apprehend those involved to keep our communities safe.I would urge local people to report any activity they believe suspicious or connected with drugs trading and help us make the area a safer place for all by contacting the neighbourhood team at Cookstown on 101 or through the Crimestoppers Charity on 0800 555 111.”