Gang 'supermarket' with shelves of drugs and guns found by gardai
GARDAI have uncovered what is described as a "supermarket" for organised crime gangs.
Detectives from the national drug unit raided a premises in a business park after a surveillance operation targeting suspected members of a big Dublin city-centre trafficking gang.
On the 'supermarket shelves' they found quantities of drugs ranging from heroin to cocaine, cannabis resin and herbal cannabis, as well as a sawn-off shotgun and a couple of hundred rounds of ammunition for two firearms.
One officer told the Irish Independent last night: "It contained most goods that might be required by members of organised crime gangs and the only item missing were ecstasy tablets".
The supermarket was discovered concealed in the attic of a premises at Finglas business park, Tolka Valley Road, west Dublin.
Gardai believe it was being used as a drugs and guns distribution depot for several years.
Last night a 58-year-old man, suspected of being in charge of the supermarket, was being questioned by officers at Leixlip garda station under the drug trafficking legislation.
The man, from the North Circular Road area, is suspected by the national unit of being a key player in a trafficking gang that operates in the centre of the capital.
He is a former associate of Derek 'Maradona' Dunne, who was one of Ireland's most notorious underworld figures and was shot dead in a row at his home in Amsterdam in 2000.
Dunne was a son-in-law of criminal George Mitchell, known as 'the Penguin'.
The suspect has been on the radar of the specialist garda unit for some time and had been questioned in the past about involvement in drug trafficking. A 20-year-old suspect from Leixlip, who had also been arrested, was released without charge last night from the Kildare station.
The two men were detained following a surveillance operation at Ryebrook business park in Leixlip on Tuesday night.
The intelligence-led operation resulted in follow-up searches at their homes and at the Finglas business park yesterday morning.
Inside the supermarket garda recovered a double-barrelled sawn-off shotgun, 150 rounds of .38 ammunition and 125 rounds for a 9mm weapon, one-and-a-half kilos of cocaine, worth €105,000, a half-kilo of heroin, with a street value of €75,000, as well as two kilos of herbal cannabis worth €40,000 and four kilos of cannabis resin, valued at €24,000.
The overall street value of the drugs was estimated to be €250,000 and equipment used in preparing the drugs for distribution was also seized in the garda raid.
Officers hailed the operation last night as a significant body blow to an organised crime gang that had been in the sights of the national unit for some time.