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Two gangs hit in undercover heroin swoop

TWO of Dublin's largest heroin gangs have been decimated by gardai who have charged 37 people for drug-dealing offences.

The arrests were made as part of Operation Reagent, a six-month covert garda operation, which saw plain clothes gardai infiltrate drug-dealing circles before crushing them in the past 48 hours.

Quantities of heroin and crack cocaine, as well as large amounts of cash, were discovered in the raids and a separate operation yesterday also resulted in the breaking up of a cocaine-mixing factory.

The Ballyfermot and Neilstown areas have been the hub of heroin distribution in the capital and gardai have been concentrating resources in these communities.

Over the past two days, 36 males and one female ranging from 21 to 48 years of age have been arrested by gardai.

All 37 have been charged and released on bail before they will appear in court next month.



evidence

Multiple raids were carried out in the past number of days after undercover gardai posed as addicts by buying drugs and identifying the dealers and their middlemen.

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.

"An Garda Siochana is committed to tackling the supply of drugs at all levels in keeping with our commitment to the National Drug Strategy," a garda spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, officers from the Organised Crime Unit (OCU) arrested two males in Dublin City Centre yesterday following an operation where detectives discovered a cocaine-mixing factory and six kilos worth of cocaine.

The cocaine is estimated as having a street value of in excess of €500,000, a compressor and mixing agents were also seized.

hnews@herald.ie