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Bessbrook electrician pleads guilty to possessing cocaine worth almost half a million pounds

Ryan Diamond

A Co Armagh electrician has today pleaded guilty to possessing drugs worth close to half a million pounds.

Appearing in person at Craigavon Crown Court, 25-year-old Ryan Diamond pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply on December 8, 2021 and also with having criminal property, namely cash, on the same date.

Previous courts heard that Diamond, from Camlough Park in Bessbrook, who at one stage had his bail varied to allow him to spend a final night in a hotel with his Australia-bound girlfriend, was stopped driving a VW caddy van on the M1 at Sprucefield.

Although an initial search of the van proved negative, drug sniffing expert PD Carlo was brought in and “he indicated an area of interest under the floor boards and in the wooden panel of the sliding door”.

When those compartments were stripped out and searched, police uncovered four “compressed blocks” of cocaine along with a bag containing “small deal wraps”.

In total, 4.5 kilos of the class A drug were seized and previously an officer explained that with a gram of “high purity” cocaine fetching £100 on the street, police believe the haul is worth approximately £450,000.

Arrested and interviewed, the electrician turned drug courier, Diamond refused to answer police questions.

In court on Tuesday, Diamond pleaded guilty to two of the three charges he initially faced with a single count of possession left on the books.

Pre-sentence reports were ordered with defence and prosecution to iron out an greed set of facts and the level of Diamond’s role in the operation.

Diamond was released on continuing bail until his sentencing hearing at Craigavon Crown Court on June 15.

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