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case delay Man arrested in PSNI drug dealing probe linked to East Belfast UVF denied bail

A phone allegedly linked to Mark Rainey contained communications in relation to drug dealing

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Laganside Court in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

Laganside Court in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

Laganside Court in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

A man accused of being involved in an east Belfast drug dealing network linked to East Belfast UVF has been denied bail.

Mark Rainey (41) of St Patrick’s Walk in the Lower Newtownards Road area, was arrested in August by the Paramilitary Crime Task Force.

Launching an appeal at Belfast Magistrate’s Court, Rainey’s lawyer argued his client should be freed due to delays in the case, claiming material to be used by the prosecution has been in the possession of the PSNI since 2020.

Deputy District Judge Liam McStay denied bail, with Rainey to remain in custody.

Mark Rainey was arrested as well as his brother, Glenn Rainey (35), of McArthur Court, and William Hunter (33), of Upper Canning Street, who all face charges of being concerned in the supply of Class A and Class B drugs after police raids carried out in October uncovered quantities of cocaine and cannabis, as well as cash and scales.

It had previously been heard that a phone uncovered during the searches, connected to Mark Rainey, contained communications in relation to drug dealing between the defendants.

Glenn Rainey and William Hunter are also charged with possession of cocaine charges.

All three deny the charges.

Police carried out the searches in a probe investigating drug dealing linked to East Belfast UVF.

There is no suggestion any of the men are members of a proscribed organisation.

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