A man described in court as the 'principal member of an organised crime gang' allegedly involved in the attempted importation of drugs valued at more than £2.1 million into the North and who had been shot and had his house blown up while living in St Johnston in Donegal has been refused bail.
Declan Gallagher (32) who is originally from Derry but now has an address in the Greater Manchester area faces a total of 17 charges in connection with what a police officer said was the interception of six operations to import drugs.
Opposing bail at Derry Magistrates Court an officer said these were attempts to import Class A and Class B drugs into the North and into Derry in particular.
The police officer said that Gallagher who was now based in Manchester had contacts throughout Ireland, England and Spain.
He said that if released police believed Gallagher would commit further offences and also could flee the jurisdiction.
The court heard that there were 19 other defendants but that Gallagher was the only one accused in connection with all six operations.
The officer said that due to the complex nature of the case it would take some time for a decision to be made.
Defence solicitor Mr. Paddy MacDermott asked had any of the other accused been released on bail and was told that more than half of them had been.
He said that Gallagher could be released on conditions and added that it was the defence case that the charges would not be sustained.
District Judge Barney McElholm said there was far too great of risk of further offences being committed and refused bail.
Gallagher will appear again on April 9.