DNA from alleged dealer found on cocaine stash with 78 percent purity, court told

Police outlined how they found the compressed block of cocaine in a tied plastic bag, hidden inside a rucksack.

Conor Nicholson

Paul HigginsSunday World

DNA from an alleged cocaine wholesaler was found on a bag containing almost a kilo of cocaine, a court heard yesterday..

Lisburn Magistrates Court also heard that while the 900 gram bag “would be worth around £100,000 at wholesale price,” the cocaine has a purity level of 78% so when “adulterated and cut,” the retail worth “would be towards half a million pounds.”

Appearing at court by video link from police custody 33-year-old Conor Nicholson, from Ballyoran Park in Portadown, was charged with a single count of having class A cocaine with intent to supply on 1 November last year.

A detective outlined how cops searched a garage a few doors down from Nicholson’s address and found the compressed block of cocaine in a tied plastic bag, hidden inside a rucksack.

Nicholson was allegedly connected to it, said the officer, because forensic scientists had found his DNA profile “on the knot tying the plastic bag.”

“Our case is that he is involved in the wholesale supply of cocaine,” said the detective.

Arrested and interviewed Nicholson claimed he “handled a lot of plastic bags in his life so he must’ve left it behind him at some stage or it maybe blew out the window.”

Cops put to him however his profile was found in the actual knot which suggested he must have tied it so he would have known what was inside but he refused to answer any more questions.

The detective said police were objecting to bail because Nicholson had allegedly committed these offences while on bail for a previous drugs offence.

“You have to recoup your losses so people continue in the business and I’m concerned about further offences,” said District Judge Rosie Watters who added that “he has lost a large amount of stuff.”

Defence solicitor Philip Reid argued there were “triable issues” in the case and highlighting there had been acquittals in other similar cases where DNA or fingerprint was the sole evidence, he submitted that Nicholson could be freed on bail with a package of stringent conditions.

DJ Watters disagreed however and refusing to free the alleged dealer, commented how “I see so much misery everyday and it wears you down because drugs ruins so may people’s lives.”

“In all the circumstances I’m not granting bail as I’m concerned about the commission of further offences,” she concluded so remanding Nicholson into custody, the judge adjourned the case to 31 March.

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