herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Garda sting sees 11 in court for dealing crack

ELEVEN people were expected to appear before court today charged with dealing crack cocaine and heroin as part of a special garda investigation codenamed Operation Boa.

Some of the suspects were junior players in the mob supplied with drugs by slain crimelord Michael 'Micka' Kelly, who was shot dead last September.

As well as the 11 suspects who were being charged today, three juveniles have also been charged in relation to drug offences after a major operation by detectives based in Clontarf and Raheny.

Sources say that the "vast bulk" of those arrested are street dealers who have been supplying drug addicts in the Kilbarrack area.

Undercover detectives worked on the operation for six months which involved younger officers posing as drug addicts and purchasing cocaine and heroin from the street dealers.

The 11 people who were appearing in court today were all arrested over a three-day period between February 1 and February 3 during operations where major searches were carried out.

Sources say that many of them have multiple previous convictions but mostly for minor offences.

The suspects before the courts today were facing a total of more than 30 charges.

Superintendent Joseph O' Connor, of Raheny Garda Station, revealed more detail about the special investigation. "Operation Boa has been a six month covert operation which has dismantled a number of significant drug distribution networks operating in the Kilbarrack area of Dublin," he said

"The Drug Unit based at Clontarf Garda Station has gathered evidence against significant targets all of whom are expected to face multiple charges of drug supply, he explained.

Supt O' Connor explained: "The focus of this operation has been to gather evidence against significant drug dealers in local communities and ensure these persons are brought before the courts."

Sources say that there are a number of "very significant players" operating in the Kilbarrack area, apart from the crew that was once led by feared Kilbarrack thug 'Micka' Kelly who was nicknamed 'The Panda'.

He was murdered by the Real IRA at an apartment complex in Clongriffin.



DISPUTE

One of the biggest traffickers in the area is a shadowy crime boss who is from the Malahide Road and whose gang are suspected of involvement in a number of tiger kidnappings.

This major drug dealer's gang were feuding with murdered Finglas man Alan McNally who was murdered in a pub earlier this month and they are also embroiled in a bitter dispute with the Real IRA gangsters who shot dead 'Micka' Kelly.

Another major gang in the Kilbarrack area are supplied by a convicted killer -- who is now based in Swords.

The massive drugs operation which has led to today's court appearance has been welcomed by Dublin North East Senator, Averil Power (FF).

"I appreciate that these arrests are the result of months of hard work on the part of the Gardai at Raheny and Clontarf stations," she said.

"I want to thank the local gardai for their commitment to helping to rid our communities of drug dealing."

kfoy@herald.ie

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