Police welcome jail terms for cross-border drugs gang

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Four people involved in a cross border drugs gang have been handed prison sentences today (Tuesday, March 13) at Craigavon Crown Court after pleading guilty to a number of drugs offences.

Desmond Enfield (34) of Ramelton, Co Donegal, Kieran Austin (61) from Lurgan and Darren Donnelly (33) of Sixmilecross, Omagh, all previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B controlled drugs, while Seamus Boyce (38) of Letterkenny, Co Donegal, previously pleaded guilty to possession of Class B controlled drugs and conspiracy to supply Class B controlled drugs.

Today they were given the following sentences:

• Desmond Enfield – 24 months imprisonment – 12 months to be served in prison and 12 months on licence, as well as a Forfeiture Order issued for a Audi vehicle;

• Seamus Boyce - 16 months imprisonment – 8 months to be served in prison and 8 months on licence, as well as a Forfeiture Order for a Ford vehicle;

• Kieran Austin - 16 months imprisonment - 8 months to be served in prison and 8 months on licence;

• Darren Donnelly - 12 months imprisonment – 6 months to be served in prison and 6 months on licence.

The sentencing brings to a close a proactive joint investigation between the PSNI’s Organised Crime Unit and An Garda Siochana, into the importation and supply of controlled drugs.

Detective Inspector Tom McClure, of PSNI’s Organised Crime Unit, said: “On April 22, 2016, officers searched three vehicles in a layby at Derrymacash Road, Lurgan. In one of the vehicles, officers uncovered herbal cannabis with an estimated street value of £300,000 in 15 vacuum packed plastic bags in the back of one of the vehicles.

“The three male occupants - Desmond Enfield, Seamus Boyce and Kieran Austin – were arrested at the scene as they were caught in the act of supplying £300k of herbal cannabis.

“Further enquiries by the PSNI’s Organised Crime Unit resulted in significant evidence which proved the involvement of HGV driver Darren Donnelly in this drugs gang. All four have now been sentenced for their role in the supply of controlled drugs by an organised crime gang operating in Derry/Londonderry and County Donegal areas.

“I would particularly like to acknowledge the assistance provided by our partners in An Garda Siochana who worked closely with us in this cross-border proactive investigation. This organised crime gang were supplying large quantities of controlled drugs into the Derry/Londonderry and Donegal areas which had the potential to cause significant harm.

“We will continue in our efforts to make Northern Ireland a safer place to live and work by proactively investigating and arresting people involved in serious criminality. The supply of controlled drugs by gangs is the cause of significant harm in our communities. Those who involve themselves in such criminality should expect to end up in a prison cell. There is no place in our society for these individuals who are only interested in making money for their own personal gain at the expense of others. They do not care that their actions could end up killing people. Drugs not only affect the person taking them, their families and the community also suffer.

“I would ask anyone who has any information about the use or supply of illegal drugs to contact police on the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”