Six raids seize €4.6m of cannabis
A series of Garda raids has dealt a major blow to a gang involved in cultivating cannabis, according to gardaí.
The raids – dubbed Operation Nitrogen – saw 5,800 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of €4.6 million seized at six locations.
A man – believed to be an important player in the production of the drug – was arrested along with seven others during the operation which was carried out during Wednesday night and yesterday morning.
An industrial unit on the Connaught Road in Co Longford was found to be running “a large cannabis cultivation operation” where approximately 1,700 cannabis plants with an approximate street value of €1.3 million were discovered inside. Four men were arrested and are being detained.
At another industrial unit in Athlone, Co Westmeath, approximately 1,000 cannabis plants were seized. The total value of these drugs is approximately €800,000. A man was arrested at the scene, and is currently being detained.
A third industrial unit in Drogheda, Co Louth, saw a “substantial” cannabis cultivation operation discovered. Approximately 1,600 cannabis plants were seized with an approximate street value of €1.2 million. Two males were arrested, and are currently being detained.
A commercial premises in Campile, Co Wexford, was searched, and an “industrial-sized” cannabis cultivation operation was discovered with approximately 1,000 cannabis plants.
The value for the drugs seized at this premise was approximately €800,000. One man was arrested, and is currently being detained.
A number of items relating to cannabis cultivation were seized at a residential house in Foxborough Hall, Lucan.
Searches at another industrial unit in Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, led to the discovery of approximately 500 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of about €400,000. There were no arrests.
The plants recovered were all produced in “laboratory conditions, and were fed with chemicals so they would mature faster and in conditions that would also speed up growth”, said a Garda source.
In another raid – as distinct from Operation Nitrogen – gardaí from Finglas and Blanchardstown searched premises at The Ward, Co Dublin, on Wednesday afternoon and discovered cannabis herb, cannabis resin and cocaine with an estimated street value of €150,000. No arrests were made.
Separately, two men were arrested following the discovery of cultivation equipment and cannabis plants worth about €20,000 at a property in Co Laois at 9pm on Wednesday.