POLICE recovered cocaine with an estimated street value in excess of £34,000 hidden under a bed during a planned search of a twenty-three-year old man’s home, Dungannon Magistrates Court has heard.
Appearing in the dock was Dominik Skonieczka from Queen Street, Magherafelt who is accused of possessing and intending to supply cocaine on 26 November.
A police officer said she believed the charges could be connected.
Outlining the details leading up to Skonieczka’s arrest, she explained police conducted a search of his house yesterday (Tuesday) and in the course of this located a large quantity of cocaine, stashed under his bed. On the basis of weight, this has been assessed with a street value of approximately £34,500.
Other items were seized including plastic dealer bags, scales, white power and a mobile phone.
After caution Skonieczka, referring to two others present at the scene replied, “Why are you taking them?”
During interview he fully admitted ownership of the drugs and associated paraphernalia stressing he was “the only one involved” in supplying cocaine.
He said he sold for financial gain and due to his own addiction.
Opposing bail, the police officer contended, “We feel there is a risk of flight. The defendant has admitted supplying drugs and may fail to attend court again due to the seriousness of these matters. We also believe he may reoffend to recoup loses or pay others further up the chain.”
A defence lawyer argued bail could be granted with strict terms. He told the court Skonieczka has just set up a business in car valeting and, “His lifestyle displays no signs of the trappings of wealth. He was very compliant with police and provided the passcode to access his phone.”
It was suggested the case may go straight to crown court under fast-track procedures, and because of the attitude taken by the defendant.
“My client has a fledgling business and his mother is willing to sign a surety to secure his release,” he said. “The issue of flight is questionable as the defendant has been resident in Northern Ireland since a small child, speaks with a local accent and has firm roots.”
It was accepted there is a caution on record for cannabis possession but nothing beyond that.
District Judge Michael Ranaghan told Skonieczka, “Over £34,000 of cocaine was found under your bed. Drugs, especially Class A as in this instance, are fast becoming extremely prevalent in this jurisdiction. People are dying due to the consumption of drugs. I agree with police, there is a real risk of reoffending.”
Bail was refused and Skonieczka was remanded in custody to appear by video-link at Magherafelt Magistrates Court next month.
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