Man jailed after £14k worth of cocaine connected to UDA found at his home

Man jailed after £14k worth of cocaine connected to UDA found at his home

A MAN has been jailed for possessing Class A controlled drugs after a search of his property in Bangor, Co. Down.

Today, at Belfast Crown Court, Richard McGarrity, 54, was sentenced to 28 months - 14 months in custody and 14 months on license - having previously pleaded guilty to possession of a Class A controlled drug with intent to supply.

McGarrity was arrested after cocaine, with an estimated value of approximately £14,000, was found following a search at his house in Bangor in March 2022.

The search, and subsequent seizure, was carried out by officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force, as part of an investigation into the North Down Brigade of the UDA.

The team enlisted the support of Police Dog Jess, who successfully located the drugs.

Detective Inspector Corrigan said: “We will continue in our efforts to make Northern Ireland a safer place to live and work by investigating, arresting and bringing those involved in serious criminality before the courts.”

He added: “Richard McGarrity unwisely got involved in drugs criminality and as a result is now in prison.

“The sentence handed to him at Belfast Crown Court today should act as a deterrent to others who supply drugs in our communities.

“McGarrity and others like him are only interested in making money for their own personal gain.  They don’t care about those who are harmed along the way – from those who buy and consume illegal and dangerous drugs, to those loved ones who are left to deal with the heartache.

“I would ask anyone who has information about the use of illegal drugs to contact police on the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111."

The Paramilitary Crime Task Force is a multi-agency task force set up in Northern Ireland to protect communities by tackling all forms of criminality linked to paramilitarism.

It consists of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the National Crime Agency and HM Revenue & Customs.