Northern Ireland

Third man in court over Dromore cannabis seizure

The herbal cannabis that was found by police Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Police found £1.3m of herbal cannabis in a fuel container

A third man has appeared in court charged in relation to the NI's largest ever cannabis seizure.

Appearing at Banbridge Magistrates' Court, sitting in Newry, 42-year-old James McAleese confirmed that he understood the four charges.

Mr McAleese, of Hill Street in Dundalk, is accused of fraudulently importing cannabis.

He is also charged with the supply of the class B drug, simple possession and having it with intent to supply.

The charges follow the drugs seizure on 30 April this year.

A detective constable told the court he believed he could connect Mr McAleese to the charges and, as no bail application was made on his behalf, the judge remanded him into custody to appear again via video link on 3 May.

Fuel container

Mr McAleese is the third man to appear in court in connection to the cannabis seizure, said to be worth around £1.3 million, at Ballynaris Lane in Dromore, County Down.

Niall Mallon, 37 and Kevin McPolin, 32 were charged with importing Class B drugs, possession and possession with intent to supply after police uncovered the herbal cannabis hidden in a fuel container at Mr Mallon's home at Ballynaris Lane.

The previous court heard Mr Mallon refused to account for his actions but speaking about the container, told police: "I was meant to pick it up yesterday in Dublin but couldn't find the place."

The court also heard that Mr McPolin, of Edenderry Park in Banbridge, told police he went to Dublin with Mr Mallon to pick up a package but he did not know what was in it or where the package was due to go.

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