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‘Drug dealer’ to be sentenced

Thursday, 15 December 2016

A "drug dealer" with Coleraine connections who was charged in connection with the discovery of almost £500,000 of amphetamines in the Ballymena area will be sentenced on December 23, Dungannon Crown Court was told.
Ex Coleraine gym owner 41-year-old Mark Dunford, no fixed abode, was said to be part of a "drug gang in Northern Ireland" involved in the sale and supply of the drug on September 28 2012.
The county Waterford man had gone on the run in 2015 and was brought back to Northern Ireland after he was arrested in Spain last July.
The defendant, who previously served seven years for drug matters, "absconded" from justice in early 2015 after he was "tracked to England where he met a Mr Jones, a "drug figure" on September 20 who was later jailed for 11 years for different matters".
Dunford, pleaded guilty to having the amphetamines with intent to supply and supplying amphetamines on September 28, 2012 in the County Court Division of Antrim, at an earlier sitting. That sitting, in a different court, was told the former gym owner was arrested in Spain and brought back to Northern Ireland in July.
The court was told that Dunford moved to the north-west around six years ago and set up the gym in Coleraine, which is now under new management.
In September, 2012, he was arrested in a sting by detectives who monitored his associates as they moved amphetamines from England to Northern Ireland, the court heard.
On September 28 that year, police stopped a car driven by 41-year-old Robert Holmes and found £200,000 of speed inside. Keys discovered in a second vehicle led police to a Ford Transit van in which they unearthed £180,000 of amphetamines in an oven. The plan was to sell the drugs in the Ballymena area.

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