'bags packed' | 

East Belfast cocaine-dealing brothers get three years despite hopes of early release

‘They’re the joke of the jail … They were telling the lads that’s they were out, they were even saying goodbye to people’

Glenn Rainey (left ) and Mark Rainey (right)

Richard SullivanSunday World

Coke brothers Mark and Glenn Rainey had to unpack their bags after hopes of being sprung from prison were dashed.

Instead of heading home the drug dealing siblings were returned to their cells – which will be home for the next three years.

The Sunday World understands the brothers were convinced they were heading home despite admitting dealing drugs in east Belfast.

Prison insiders have told us the brothers had told family and friends they were on their way home.

But then the judge at Antrim Crown Court handed down six year sentences – three to be served behind bars and three on licence.

“They’re the joke of the jail,” a prison source told us.

“They were telling the lads that’s they were out, they were even saying goodbye to people, it was like packing your bags to go on holiday only to be told your flight’s been cancelled.

“The only thing you’re left with is unpacking your bags. It’s hilarious.”

The Raineys and co-defendant were described by a judge as "commercial suppliers" of cocaine and cannabis before they were handed jail sentences.

They were convicted of dealing drugs in east Belfast in 2020.

Brothers Mark, 42, and Glenn 36, were each given six-year sentences and 34-year-old Hunter was given a 40-month sentence.

It is understood the Raineys are furious Buff Hunter was handed a much lesser sentence and have accused their former accomplice of ``doing a deal’’ in return for evidence.

“They can’t understand how they’ve been hammered compared to what Buff got.”

Earlier this year, east Belfast men Mark Rainey, from St Patrick's Walk, Glenn Rainey, from McArthur Court and Hunter, from Upper Canning Street, admitted supplying class A and B drugs, cocaine and cannabis, between 1 June and 15 October 2020.

Hunter admitted supplying class C prescription drug diazepam between the same dates and having cannabis on 23 August last year.

Glenn Rainey also admitted possessing cocaine, diazepam and pregabalin on 23 August 2021.

Previous court hearings were told that the men were arrested last August as part of a wider investigation into suspected crime connected to the east Belfast UVF.

During searches of Glenn Rainey's car and home, said the judge, police uncovered a total of 29 grams of cocaine in addition to scales, deal bags and £2,000 in cash.

Mark, was arrested driving a Skoda car in which police uncovered a small amount of cannabis and an extendable baton.

When Hunter's home was raided, officers seized scales, deal bags, cash and a cannabis grinder.

Detectives also seized phones belonging to the three men and it was when they were examined that police were able to adduce evidence the three men were heavily involved in the sale and supply of drugs, with messages about multiple deals anywhere between £100-£500.

The judge revealed that one exchange of messages related to a deal involving £4,350.

The judge said Glenn "was a significant player" in the illicit drugs trade and could rightly be described as having played a "leading role".

He described Hunter, who has a multitude of previous convictions, as a "career criminal" whose latest offences "are merely the most recent in a long line of offending that shows no sign of ending".

"They know each other, there are connections between them… other individuals are involved in this network and it's obvious from the messages that they are not acting alone," said the judge.

He added that "the evidence demonstrates that each was well established" when they were arrested and that their offending only stopped when police searched their houses and seized their phones.

Commenting that each of the three "was a leading player in the supply of class A drugs," the judge issued a warning to others that "those who willingly deal in this illicit trade must expect severe sentences".

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