Police vehicle search uncovers cocaine worth over £2,000

Dungannon Courthouse
Dungannon Courthouse

A young Cookstown man who had cocaine valued at more than £2,000 in a vehicle, has been placed on probation for two years.

Twenty-five-year-old Eoin Martin from Castle Villas was also ordered to carry out 70 hours of unpaid community service.

Making an order for the destruction of the drug, District Judge Michael Ranaghan fined Martin £350 with a £15 offender levy.

Mr Ranaghan told the defendant that given the amount of the drug the Public Prosecution Service may have considered directing prosecution for supplying.

However, the judge said Martin had no previous record and, from a reference provided by his mother and father, it was quite clear he had difficulties and was receiving counselling to try and stop taking drugs.

East Tyrone Magistrates Court heard on Friday that on July 31, 2018, police were searching a dwelling house at Dunleath Avenue, Cookstown.

A Prosecution Service lawyer said that during the search the defendant entered the dwelling through a rear door.

She said police then carried out a search of the defendant’s vehicle and found the Class A drug to which he made no reply.

Counsel said he was arrested and taken to Dungannon police station where it was established the drug was cocaine with an estimated street value of £2,395 with a 12 per cent purity.

The prosecutor said Martin made no comment, but said it was for personal use and he took cocaine on a weekly basis.

Handing in the reference from the defendant’s parents, a defence barrister stressed the drug was for personal use.

He said Martin was an electrical installer by profession and an industrious young man.

Counsel said he was “dealing with these issues” and is now engaging with counselling in an effort to overcome his drug taking.

He asked the court to “leave something hanging over his head” which would assist in keeping him engaged with the counselling.

Imposing the penalties, District Judge Ranaghan warned Martin that if he failed to comply with his supervisor he would be brought back to court and dealt with in another way.

He gave the defendant 12 weeks to pay the fine.