Remanded | 

Teen refused bail after coke, cannabis and £80k cash found in shed during UVF probe

The Judge said "It may well be that the people who possibly used him said ‘You’re a clean skin, you’ll probably get bail’, but he won’t"
Cash and drugs seized during the operation in East Belfast

Cash and drugs seized during the operation in East Belfast

Alan Erwin

A teenager has been remanded into custody accused of storing cocaine, cannabis and more than £80,000 in cash as part of an investigation into East Belfast UVF crime.

Tate Carson is allegedly connected to the haul of drugs and money discovered in a garden shed and under his bed.

The 19-year-old was arrested after police raided his home at Victoria Road in the city on Wednesday.

He appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court on Thursday to face charges of possessing Class A and B drugs with intent to supply, along with having criminal property.

An investigating detective said the searches formed part of a PSNI Paramilitary Crime Task Force probe into criminality associated with the East Belfast UVF.

Suspected cocaine worth £6,000 and herbal cannabis with an estimated street value of £5,000 was recovered.

According to the detective “upwards of £80,000” in money was also found at the property where Carson lives.

“The drugs were found in a shed in the back garden with a large sum of the cash,” she disclosed.

“But some cash was also found under the defendant’s bed along with what would appear to be a check list or deal list.”

Carson made no comment to most questions in police interviews, the court heard.

Despite his previous clear record, bail was opposed amid concerns he may be pressured into committing further offences to pay for the seized money.

“A large amount of cash has been taken, and that cash belongs to someone,” the detective added.

“Police are concerned there would be reprisals taken against the defendant for this loss.”

During cross-examination, defence solicitor Darren Duncan suggested the police interviews were focused on establishing if his client had been coerced into keeping the drugs for others.

The detective replied: “He was given multiple opportunities to say if he had been coerced by criminal elements, but he chose not to answer those questions.”

Mr Duncan argued that others could have had a key to the shed where most of the consignment was stored.

“Whether or not this money was directly and only accessible by (Carson) is a completely different matter,” the lawyer said.

But remanding the accused in custody until June 23, District Judge Mark Hamill held there was a risk of further offences.

“It may well be that the people who possibly used him said ‘You’re a clean skin, you’ll probably get bail’, but he won’t,” Mr Hamill said.

“This is high level drug dealing with a paramilitary connection. Bail is refused.”


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