Monday’s significant drugs haul in Drogheda has been linked to a local drug gang based in Ardee and Dundalk.
A minimum of 12kg of cocaine was seized in the discovery, which Gardai say occurred by chance. Units responded to reports of a fire at an industrial unit at Mell in Drogheda and after searching a premises, the discovery was made.
Four people were arrested at the scene, including three Eastern European – two Polish and one Latvian national. Detectives believe these are not gang members, but instead “workers”. Initially officers believed a much larger amount of cocaine had been found but it believed that much of the substance located is a mixing agent used to dilute the drug.
According to the Irish Examiner, sources close to the investigation believe the local gang based in Ardee and Dundalk, was behind the facility. The gang are thought to supply drugs throughout Louth and Meath, as well as Wicklow and Kildare.
Gardai have previously undertaken raids on the gang at various locations in Ardee and elsewhere, but only small quantities have been seized at any one time. Monday’s discovery in Drogheda is a much bigger haul.
The Irish Examiner quote a source as saying, “This is quite a significant seizure.” They report the gang is known to use people vulnerable people to handle, store and mix the drugs. “They use people who are down on their luck.
The paper say that a 15-year-old in the area has been used to store three pipe-bombs on behalf of members of the gang.
In October, Gardai in Ardee seized a quantity of cocaine believed to be worth in the region of €12,000 at a property at Ashwalk – with one man in his 20s arrested at the scene.
A number of dawn raids have also been carried out at properties across Ardee, with arrests made and quantities of drugs seized by officers.
Two petrol-bomb attacks attacks have also occurred in the Shanlis areas of Ardee, which Gardai say are thought to be related to ongoing drug issues in the town.