Drugs lord arrested as €500k of pills seized
A MAJOR Dublin drugs trafficker and his right-hand man were in garda custody last night after detectives seized almost €500,000 worth of ecstasy tablets when they raided a highly sophisticated pill-making factory.
In total, five people were being quizzed by gardai after the top-secret operation, which was led by the Garda National Drugs Unit.
Searches took place yesterday in the Tallaght, Inchicore and Crumlin areas of the capital with 45,000 ecstasy tablets being seized at the Hibernian Industrial estate at the Greenhills Road in Tallaght, along with pill-making machines.
It was the biggest ecstasy seizure in Ireland this year.
A senior source told the Herald: "It is very significant that the officers were able to find a pill-making machine when they raided the industrial unit - this was an extremely lucrative operation.
"Yesterday's raids followed a lengthy surveillance operation on a Tallaght criminal who has moved from being involved in serious armed robberies to large-scale drug dealing over the past five years."
The target of the operation was a 38-year-old career criminal who was previously busted with pill-making machines in a large cannabis grow house.
His trusted right-hand man, aged 40, who was also arrested yesterday, was also busted on a previous occasion with his business partner.
The younger man has links to veteran criminal Martin 'The Viper' Foley and he was previously jailed in relation to a bank robbery.
A close relative of the drugs trafficker was one of the main organisers of a drone flight to smuggle drugs into Wheatfield Prison last month.
A package containing the drugs was attached by a rope to the four-bladed device as it hovered over the yard at the west Dublin prison.
It was initially believed that all the contraband was seized by officers, but it later emerged that a "sizeable amount" of drugs got into the jail.