TWO men have been handed suspended sentences following an investigation into the large-scale supply of cocaine by the UVF in East Belfast.
The pair were arrested following searches carried out in the area in 2018 by the Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF).
A spokesperson for the PCTF said the convictions show they are ‘committed to disrupting the activities of those involved with criminal and drug-related activity’.
Darren Baine, 34, from the Belfast area, was convicted of being concerned in the supply of a class A controlled drug, namely cocaine.
Dean Bailey, 29, also from Belfast, was also convicted of supplying cocaine as well as possessing a class B controlled drug, namely cannabis.
Both men were sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for three years.
“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,” said Detective Chief Inspector Avine Kelly.
“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 and we will continue to robustly and proactively pursue those who are intent on damaging our communities.”