A young man who was walking through a Coolock housing estate with more than €230,000 of heroin in a bag was arrested by gardai after he spotted them and tried to flee.
The Herald can reveal that detectives are investigating whether the seized drugs were controlled by a 30-year-old local criminal who is considered to be one of the capital's most out-of-control gangland figures.
Gardai on a routine patrol in the Moatview area of Priors- wood thought the man was acting suspiciously and decided to detain him.
After a short chase, they opened his bag and found a huge amount of heroin with a street value of €234,000.
The incident happened in the Moatview Gardens area at around 8.30pm on Monday.
The man, who is in his 20s and known to gardai, was spotted by the officers and immediately began acting suspiciously.
Sources said last night that the arrested man is suspected of being a street dealer who works for a major organisation which has been involved in a number of feuds and a murder in the area. The man was taken to Coolock Garda Station for questioning.
A follow-up search in Darndale and Santry was carried out by garda units, including armed officers, and cannabis and cash were found.
The cannabis resin has an estimated street value of €7,000 while around €4,000 in cash was seized in the operation.
"It was quite a haul for a routine patrol to come across. It will certainly upset the local drug supply chain," said one source.
"People moving drugs are usually very covert about it, but to get a guy walking along a residential area with such a huge amount of heroin is rare."
It is the latest garda operation against drugs gangs in the area.
The Herald revealed yesterday that a separate mob was left out of pocket after gardai seized nearly €40,000 in cash when they raided a property in the Castletimon Drive area of Kilmore on Saturday and made three arrests.
The Priors- wood haul came only a day after gardai carried out a search in the Finglas area and seized drugs, imitation guns and cash in an intelligence-led oper- ation into the supply of drugs in the area.
Ten sealed blocks of cannabis resin with a street value of €6,000 and three packages of cannabis herb worth €300 were seized.
Gardai also found €1,800 in cash in an envelope, nearly €500 in cash hidden in a wardrobe and two imitation firearms.
Monday night's Priorswood bust is one of the largest heroin seizures in the capital in recent months.
The gangster who is suspected of controlling the drugs was not arrested but remains a target for gardai.
He is a convicted heroin dealer but was released without charge last month after gardai arrested him when they foiled a hit in the Coolock area and seized two firearms.