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Friday 17 November 2017

Crime gang's network busted as gardai seize €1m worth of drugs

Shotgun and some of the drugs seized in the Offaly raid
Shotgun and some of the drugs seized in the Offaly raid

Gardai have busted a suspected wholesale drug distribution network in the Midlands run by an eastern European gang.

The operation, which led to the seizure of more than €1m worth of drugs as well as a firearm and ammunition, was carried out early yesterday morning.

Gardai raided a property in the Geashill area of Offaly following a lengthy intelligence- led operation.

Cocaine

The drugs recovered included a large amount of herbal cannabis and cocaine as well as suspected amphetamine.

A 34-year-old Polish man was arrested in relation to the raid and is being held under drug trafficking legislation at Tullamore Garda Station.

The firearm recovered was a sawn-off shotgun, while shotgun cartridges and ammun- ition believed to be for a 9mm handgun were also found.

A source said that the raided house is suspected of being used as the distribution centre for an eastern European organised crime gang that supplies drug dealers throughout the Midlands.

"Gardai suspect that this house is at the centre of this organised criminal group's network, where large amounts of drugs, as well as firearms and ammo, are stored," the source said.

"From the drugs seized, gardai believe that it is more of a wholesale operation and that the crime gang move significant amounts of drugs to street dealers throughout the Midlands."

The controlled substances recovered were sealed in large plastic bags and were in the process of being moved on, gardai believe.

As part of the raid, a shed and nearby land were searched in the Geashill area, while the arrested man was detained at the scene.

The operation was carried out by the Laois/Offaly divisional drugs unit, assisted by local officers from Tullamore Garda Station.

A garda spokesman said the raid was "part of an ongoing investigation into organised criminal activity in the Midlands".

Searches at the property continued throughout yesterday to determine if any further controlled drugs or firearms were being stored there.

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