A MOTHER accused along with her daughter of running a £300,000 cannabis and ecstasy racket has been refused bail.
melda Clarke was seeking release from Hydebank prison, where she was remanded last week on 16 charges of drug possession and supply.
The 62-year-old was arrested along with daughter Audrey Clarke (42) after police raids at their homes and a business premises in Dungannon on September 15.
At Imelda Clarke’s house officers found 4.5kgs of synthetic ecstasy, 1.2 kgs of ecstasy, 1kg of cocaine, 15kgs of cannabis, along with a black box containing £40,000 in cash.
Searches of Audrey’s home uncovered 2kgs of drugs in a shed; cocaine was found in a bedroom, and £4,000 in cash was found in her car.
The pair were refused bail at Dungannon Magistrates’ Court over fears of interference with the ongoing investigation into what police say is an “industrial” drugs supply operation. Both deny all the allegations.
On Friday a barrister for the Crown told the High Court the alleged drugs operation had been active for some time given the amount of substances and money found.
He said that, if released, Imelda Clarke may seek to destroy evidence and may seek to recoup her losses through further drug dealing.
The lawyer added there could be more cash available to her, yet to be found by police, which she would be able to use to flee Northern Ireland.
Clarke’s barrister told the court she ought to be released on bail as two other people arrested and questioned had been freed by police.
He told Mr Justice Colton she had answered all questions during police interview and had surrendered her mobile phone along with its PIN number.
The barrister said Clarke told officers she had not been in the room where the drugs were found since January this year, when she was putting away Christmas decorations.
He added there was no risk of flight as her entire family live in the Dungannon area, and she was willing to surrender her Irish passport.
Refusing to release Clarke, of Dunavon Park in the town, Mr Justice Colton said there was clear evidence linking her to a large scale drugs supply operation.
He added that it was still a live investigation and she may seek to frustrate further evidence gathering.
The case against both women is due to be heard again at Dungannon Magistrates’ Court next month.