A man who was arrested while on his way to work “was heavily involved in the dark web” in relation to his drugs dealings over the last three years, Londonderry Magistrates Court heard yesterday.
The 32-year-old defendant, who has been granted anonymity, appeared before District Judge Barney McElholm charged with committing 13 drugs related offences between October 1, 2016 and Tuesday of this week.
The charges, several of which the defendant has admitted, include being concerned in supplying Class A, B and C drugs, possessing Class B and C drugs with intent to supply them and possessing, transferring and concealing criminal property.
A police officer told the Derry court that the defendant became of interest to the PSNI following a drugs-related search in 2017, during which a computer and several mobile phones were seized.
She said the defendant had refused to give the police the relevant passcodes for items found in his home following his arrest on Tuesday.
Among the internet enabled devices found during the search were a number of USB pens which officers believed contained information relevant to their investigation.
The police witness said that the defendant was a very intelligent man who used a particular type of software which anonymised both the user and their location. She said that he was also involved in bit coin transactions.
The officer further explained that the defendant travelled abroad where, for several months, he had attended crypto-currency conferences and stayed with undesirables.
During interviews following his arrest the man made partial admissions to the offences and admitted that he had also had drugs posted to several addresses in the Republic.
The court was told that the defendant became visibly upset at the conclusion of his police interviews.
The PSNI witness said: “I think the seriousness of what he was involved in hit him.”
Bail was opposed by the police on the basis that if released the defendant would be a flight risk and would interfere with an ongoing investigation.
Applying for bail defence barrister Eoghan Devlin said he accepted it was a difficult application to make, to which the district judge replied “try impossible”.
Mr Devlin said that the defendant had mental health issues which included psychotic incidents.
Mr McElholm refused the bail application and remanded the defendant in custody until December 12.
The judge said that while in custody the defendant should be assessed for his mental health issues.
“Anyone who deals in drugs in this city should know by now if they don’t give the access codes and passwords and pin numbers to the police to enable them to gain access to devices to speed up their investigations, they will not get bail,” the district judge added.
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