Trio returned to trial after accusations of drug smuggling through post

Three men allegedly connected to international operation to import ecstasy

Three men were returned for trial today accused of involvement in an international plot to smuggle drugs into Northern Ireland through the post

Three men were returned for trial today accused of involvement in an international plot to smuggle drugs into Northern Ireland through the post

 

Three men were returned for trial today accused of involvement in an international plot to smuggle drugs into Northern Ireland through the post.

The trio are allegedly connected to an operation to import ecstasy and mephedrone. Connor Devenney, 35, Ryan McManus, 30, and Ryan Milligan, 28, were arrested following the seizure of thousands of tablets in Belfast in August last year.

All three face charges of conspiring to import a controlled drug.

McManus, of Ava Street in Belfast, and Milligan, from Manse Road, Dundrum, Co Down, are also accused of possessing and transferring criminal property, having Class A and B drugs with intent to supply, and conspiracy to fraudulently evade the prohibition on importing drugs. Devenney, from Dunwellan Park in Newcastle, Co Down, is also accused of having a quantity of cannabis.

Dressed in a dark suit and tie, he entered the dock at Belfast Magistrates’ Court alongside his two co-accused for a preliminary enquiry hearing. All three confirmed they understood the charges against them but declined to call witnesses or give evidence at this stage.

Backing a prosecution submission that the defendants have a case to answer, District Judge Fiona Bagnall returned them for Crown Court trial on a date to be fixed. Devenney was released on continuing bail while McManus and Milligan were led back into custody.

Stressing the scale of the case, a defence lawyer said around 2,500 pages of documents have been produced. He added that it involved a series of global investigations.