Two men have been sentenced at Belfast Crown Court for a number of offences as a result of an investigation by the Paramilitary Crime Task Force, into drugs criminality by the east Belfast UVF.
Darren Baine, 34, from the Belfast area, was convicted of being concerned in the supply of a class A controlled drug, namely cocaine, and was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment suspended for 3 years (half to be served in custody and half on licence). Dean Bailey, 29, also from Belfast, was convicted of being concerned in the supply of a class A controlled drug, namely cocaine and possession of a class B controlled drug, namely cannabis and was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment suspended for 3 years (half to be served in custody and half on licence). A Destruction Order was also granted for drugs, paraphernalia and mobile phones used to conduct the drugs criminality in this case.
Commenting on the sentences, Detective Chief Inspector Avine Kelly of Paramilitary Crime Task Force said: “The Paramilitary Crime Task Force conducted a series of searches at two properties in Belfast in 2018 in relation to an investigation into the large scale supply of controlled drugs namely cocaine by the East Belfast UVF and its associates who were involved in this drug dealing network. The defendants were arrested during this operation.
“The fact that these men have been brought before the court offers reassurance that we, along with partner organisations, remain committed to disrupting the activities of those involved with criminal and drug-related activity. This remains a priority for the Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF) and we will continue to robustly and proactively pursue those who are intent on damaging our communities.I would encourage anyone with information that could assist in our ongoing efforts to contact us on the non-emergency number 101, or submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/.”
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.