rat trap | 

Coke dealer blames ex-UVF boss Paul Gray for grassing him up to cops to save his own skin

The 39-year-old personal trainer was caught with £10,000 worth of cocaine following a doomed chase on foot across the fields of a farm

Chris Djorjani

Chris Djorjani

Paul Gray

Chris Djorjani

Steven MooreSunday World

A muscle-bound coke dealer with links to the UDA is blaming ex-UVF boss Paul Gray for setting him up with the cops.

Chris Djorjani was due to be sentenced last Friday at Antrim Crown Court but the case was adjourned until next month.

The court was told they are awaiting results of hair follicle tests aimed at proving he has not been taking drugs in a bid to mitigate his sentence.

The 39-year-old personal trainer was caught with £10,000 worth of cocaine following a doomed chase on foot across the fields of a farm on the outskirts of Ballymena.

The dopey dealer tried to hide his drug stash in a dry wall after cops stopped him and were just about to carry out a search of him and his car.

Cops say they had reason to stop him but Djorjani is convinced he was set up to be caught. And Paul Gray has been raising suspicions with the criminal underworld ever since he was arrested last year but released without charge yet again.

“Chris Djorjani is absolutely furious because he was caught bang-to-rights and had no chance of getting out of it,” says a well-placed source.

“And he’s pointing the finger straight at Paul Gray. He says he’s certain Gray grassed him up to the police to get himself out of trouble.

“The cops were basically waiting for him. The police made out in court they caught him by pure fluke because they had a reason to stop his car. That usually means they suspect he’s driving drunk or driving erratically or something but he wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary.

“They knew he was carrying a large amount of drugs. He says when he drove down this laneway he could see this unmarked car and he knew something was wrong but there was nothing to do.”

Paul Gray

In June, Djorjani admitted having the class A drug with intent to supply on November 12 last year, while a second count of simple possession of cocaine was “left on the books”.

When Djorjani was originally charged in November last year, the court heard that at around 4.30pm “police had occasion” to stop a blue Skoda Octavia on the Carnlough Road in Ballymena.

Although the car was owned by Djorjani, who is originally from Ballymena but who had been bailed to live on the Skeagh Road in Dromara, the tattooed dealer was in the passenger seat and when cops told him to stand to one side, he ran off through a field.

A police constable told the court that as Djorjani fled, he “dropped a package”, which he immediately picked up and, taking to his heels again, he ran through the yard of a nearby farm, jumping over a stone boundary wall into a field, where he was eventually arrested.

The officer told the court that as officers at the scene noticed some stones in the wall appeared to have been disturbed, a drugs dog was brought into the field and the cocaine package was discovered.

Describing how “250 1/4 kilo” was written on the wrapping, the officer said it had “clearly been pressed” into a block, a technique which “takes an amount of expertise and equipment to do”, adding that police estimate the seizure is worth around £10,000.


And cops went one step further – stating Djorjani was involved with the notorious breakaway South East Antrim Brigade of the UDA run by increasingly under-pressure leader Gary Fisher.

Chris Djorjani

“We have assessed that he is part of a drugs organised crime gang and has links to the South East Antrim UDA,” said the officer in court, who suggested that, with a clear record, Djorjani was a “perfect candidate for supplying”.

That clear record has now been stained and, following his confession, Judge Patricia Smyth said that before she could pass sentence “we will need a pre-sentence report”.

It’s not the first-time drug dealers in the bible-belt town have pointed the finger at Gray who tried to claim to the Sunday World last year that he’d turned his back on crime.

In April we revealed how Gray has been left isolated since cops raided his home and seized a number of electronic devices as well as his car.

Officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force raided his Ballymena home and business premises last October.

Criminals were already reluctant to trade with Gray because they fear he’s done a deal with the cops in the wake of the death of Ballymena drug lord Noel Johnston.

He publicly told us after the raids that he’d turned his back on crime and was trying to make an honest living but, according to sources, he’s still heavily involved in the drugs trade.

Heavily armed cops raided Gray’s home in the Knockkeen Road area as well as two businesses linked to him in the Co Antrim town.

They seized Gray’s grey Jeep and two mobile phones. For the first time, the police admitted the raid on Gray’s home was connected to “ongoing drug-related criminality”.

He was not charged with anything as a result which has raised eyebrows in the criminal underworld.

He has even been abandoned by his best pal, former Mount Vernon UVF thug Darren Moore, who has refused to deal with him in fear he has become a police tout.

“The arrest and conviction of Chris Djorjani was the final nail in his coffin,” as far as major players in Ballymena are concerned, a source told us.

“Nobody is prepared to do business with him now. And Djorjani has been singing it loud and proud that he’s facing jail because he was set up by Gray.”

The raids on Gray came after the death of drug kingpin Noel Johnston, who fell 50ft from a flat when cops were bursting through the front door last October.

Gray said of the raids: “What can I do about it? I just leave it in the hands of my lawyer. Everyone has a past – especially in a place like this. But I’m just trying to survive.”

Former UVF commander Gray was once one of the UVF’s blue-eyed boys.

But the relationship with headquarters soon soured. The axe finally fell when UVF investigators allegedly discovered thousands of pounds missing from a special Somme Commemoration account which had been under the control of Gray.

Today's Headlines

More Northern Ireland

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos