A Dublin man who has been caught with a heroin haul worth over €100,000 and a shotgun had never come to garda attention before this year.
He is originally from south Co Dublin and is suspected of a string of crimes.
He was arrested at a house in Portarlington, Co Laois, after gardai investigating a shooting in Portlaoise conducted a major operation yesterday morning.
Detectives discovered the huge heroin haul along with a shotgun buried in the back garden of the man's home.
The searches were carried out by gardai investigating a murder attempt on a drug dealer aged in his early 30s earlier this month.
That incident happened when a gunman burst into a house on the Ballyfin Road, Portlaoise, where the local man and his partner were living.
Two shots were fired and one struck the man in the leg. He was hospitalised for non-life threatening injuries.
Follow-up enquiries led detectives to target the 41-year-old man who was arrested yesterday.
A senior source explained: "This is a very unusual case -- this man's activities over the past few months show all the hallmarks of an up-and-coming criminal.
"But we are not talking about a teenager here and it is strange to call a 41-year-old up and coming. For whatever reason he has decided to get heavily involved in organised criminal activity.
"Apart from being involved with Dublin gangs, he also has links with criminals from Limerick."
The suspect was also arrested by gardai in Killaloe, Co Clare, in March when he was caught with gloves and balaclavas after being stopped by officers.
"We don't know exactly what he was up to down in Clare but whatever it was, he certainly was up to no good," said a source.