Eastern European gang linked to midlands crime after €1m drugs seizure

Shotgun, cannabis, cocaine and suspected amphetamines discovered during search

 

An Eastern European gang is linked by An Garda Síochána to major criminality in the midlands, following the seizure on Wednesday of €1 million worth of drugs and a gun in Co Offaly.

Detectives searched land near Geashill, 12 kms from Tullamore, on Wednesday evening, including a house and sheds. They discovered a quantity of cocaine, cannabis and a batch of suspected amphetamines.

A sawn-off shotgun was found, along with a large number of shotgun cartridges and rounds of what appear to be handgun ammunition. A 34-year-old Eastern European man was arrested at the scene.

Drugs worth more than €1 million were also seized. Photograph: An Garda Síochána/Facebook
Drugs worth more than €1 million were also seized. Photograph: An Garda Síochána/Facebook

The man is being held at Tullamore Garda station under the Drug Trafficking Act 1996. He can be questioned for up to seven days by members of the Garda’s Laois/Offaly drugs unit.

Gardaí discovered significant evidence of drug dealing at the site . They are liaising with their counterparts in eastern Europe as part of the ongoing investigation.

“Huge sums of money would have been involved in this,” a source said. “What we do know is that the involvement of people from outside the jurisdiction is significant,” he added.

Gardaí said there would be significant follow up operations and searches in the investigation.

One man was taken into custody. Photograph: An Garda Síochána/Facebook
One man was taken into custody. Photograph: An Garda Síochána/Facebook

Local TD and Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan welcomed the raid: “Well done to Garda Síochána on significant drug seizure in County Offaly. Communities working closely with gardaí produces positive results,” he tweeted.

Another local TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, who expressed concerns in the Dáil on Wednesday about a recent wave of crimes in Laois and Offaly, praised gardaí for the action.

“I would like to commend gardaí for carrying out this seizure and safeguarding our local communities and those further afield from these harmful substances and weapons,” stated Ms Corcoran Kennedy.