Magherafelt heroin death linked to case against alleged drug dealer in Portadown

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The heroin-related death of a young man in Magherafelt has been linked to a case against an alleged drug dealer in Portadown.

Giving evidence during the bail application of Helder Azevedo, 52, of Hanover Street, an officer said police believed a drug ring involved the supply of heroin was linked to a number of deaths.

And that police had information linking them to the supply of heroin connected to the death of a young man in the Magherafelt area.

Azevedo is charged with three offences of supplying a class A drug, heroin, and possession of the drug on November 28 last year.

A detective constable said that from November 2, last year, until January 30 this year police had carried out a pro-active investigation into the supply and possession of class A drugs in the Portadown area.

He said during this operation police identified eight defendants who were involved in the supply of heroin.

The defendant was applying for bail but the officer objected, saying he believed Azevedo was a member of a criminal gang involved in the possession and supplying of heroin on a daily basis.

He also suggested there was the possibility of the defendant committing further offences and possibly absconding as there was nothing to hold him to this jurisdiction. He had previous convictions involving controlled drugs.

The officer said police believed the drug ring involved the supply of heroin was linked to a number of deaths and information was that they had supplied heroin connected to the death of a young man in the Magherafelt area.

The detective said that during interview Azevedo denied supplying heroin but admitted that he had been addicted to heroin but had not used it for one and a half to two years. He made no comment to further questions.

Under cross examination the officer said the quality of the heroin was high purity and that the defendant had been identified by police officers.

When asked if there was evidence to connect the defendant to the death in Magherafelt the detective said that the mother of the person who died as a result of an overdose identified the locus of where her son bought the drug and this was the address of one of the members of the gang.

Deputy District Judge Sean O’Hare said he was satisfied there was a risk of further offences and remanded the defendant in custody to appear by way of videolink on April 1.