Seven in court over cannabis raids haul
SEVEN men arrested during raids on cannabis growhouses around the country that netted €4.6m worth of the herb have been charged today.
The arrests were made as part of Operation Nitrogen spearheaded by officers from the Garda National Drug Unit.
Searches were carried out at a number of premises, resulting in eight men being arrested.
One man was to appear before Gorey District Court this morning, while two men were to appear before Drogheda District Court.
Meanwhile, four men were to appear before Longford District Court
An eighth man continues to be questioned at Mullingar Garda station.
Officers uncovered growhouses in counties Longford, Westmeath, Louth, Wexford and Mayo.
Six of the eight are Asian and the others are English, although one has an address in Stradbally, Co Laois.
One of the men, a Chinese national, has been living in Lucan, Co Dublin.
During a search of an industrial unit in Longford town, gardai found a large cultivation operation involving about 1,700 plants worth around €1.36m on the streets. Four men were detained there.
An industrial unit at Cornafulla, Athlone, Co Westmeath, was also raided and gardai seized 1,000 plants, worth €800,000. One man was arrested at that site.
During the third search at an industrial premises in Drogheda business park, gardai seized 1,600 plants with a street value of around €1.28m. Two suspects were detained on the premises.
The fourth find was at a commercial premises in Campile, Co Wexford, while an industrial unit at Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, was also raided.
All eight suspects were held for questioning at various garda stations around the country.
Gardai said that seven of the eight are suspected of acting as gardeners in the growhouses.