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Bangor man jailed after police dog finds cocaine in tumble dryer


A man has been jailed after a quantity of drugs was found hidden in his Bangor home by a police dog.

Richard McGarrity, 54, of Windmill Road in the city was charged with possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

During a police raid on 24 March 2022, a police dog alerted officers to the presence of drugs in a tumble dryer.

Upon inspection, the officers located several bags containing white powder which, when later analysed, proved to be 286 grams of cocaine.

The drugs had an estimated street value of about £14,000, the police have said.

They also found a quantity of a cutting agent typically mixed with cocaine, as well as a blender and scales in a kitchen cupboard.

When arrested and interviewed, McGarrity said he had been asked to store the items by a friend he met in the pub.

McGarrity told Downpatrick Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, that he was told he would be paid £280 for doing so.

‘Substantial amount of drugs’

McGarrity’s defence raised issues of alcohol addiction, his naivety and that this was an isolated incident which he regretted.

Judge Geoffery Miller KC said McGarrity’s claim that he was a “mere custodian” was not accepted.

He said that “only a trusted individual would be asked to hold such a substantial amount of drugs”.

Judge Miller also referred to McGarrity’s lengthy criminal record.

As he sent McGarrity to jail, Judge Miller said: “I accept you were a small player, but you still played a part in the trade of drugs which brings misery to so many people.”

McGarrity was handed a 28-month sentence, divided equally between prison and on licence.

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