herald

Monday 21 January 2019

Manhunt as crack cocaine seized in raid

A garda manhunt was continuing today for a 32-year-old suspect after officers raided his apartment and seized a large quantity of crack cocaine and eight shotgun cartridges.

The cache was found in the Finglas area of the north Dublin on Tuesday night.

Sources say that the suspect is aware that gardai from the Ballymun drugs unit raided his apartment and discovered the haul, but officers have yet to locate him.

No-one was in the upmarket property when it was raided gardai investigating crack cocaine dealing.

Sources say that crack cocaine is becoming more prevalent across the city and a number of very serious criminals are involved in dealing it.

"When this fella is lifted, he will have questions to answer as there is evidence linking him to the stash," said a source.

As far back as March 2011, Fr Peter McVerry, the well0-known social issues campaigner, said that the drug of choice in Ballymun where he lived at the time was crack cocaine.

His comments came as he was addressing a conference in Dublin Castle marking the 30th anniversary of the founding of Ballymun Youth Action Project, the State's longest-running community drugs project.

SMOKED

The fact that crack cocaine is smoked rather than snorted or injected has contributed to its popularity. Its effects are felt more quickly and are more intense than powder cocaine.

Medical experts say crack is more dangerous than other drugs because it is inhaled and carried swiftly into the brain.

A number of serious crimes linked to crack cocaine are now being regularly collated across the country.

Originally the drug was being mainly dealt by west African dealers here but now all the major gangs deal in it and the drug is increasing being referred to in court cases and inquests.

Last October, a 49-year-old man who had taken the drug was jailed for five years in Donegal after he dragged a 96-year-old woman from her bed, beat her and robbed her of €3,000 in the county.

And an inquest into the death of a 40-year-old Dublin man heard in September 2012, that he spent €30,000 in the six weeks before his death on crack cocaine.

kfoy@herald.ie

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