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Friday 28 April 2017

Gardai sniff out driver's €100k in drugs and cash

Some of the cannabis plants recovered with a potential street value of approximately €60,000
Some of the cannabis plants recovered with a potential street value of approximately €60,000
Some of the cannabis plants recovered with a potential street value of approximately €60,000
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A MAN who was randomly stopped at a garda checkpoint has had cannabis and cash worth nearly €100,000 seized from him after gardai smelled the drugs in his car.

The checkpoint was set up on St John's Road West near Heuston Station at 10pm on Saturday.

Gardai were checking for drink drivers and had asked the driver of the car, chosen at random from the passing traffic, to give a breath sample.

But when a garda from the Dublin Regional Traffic Department leaned down to issue the driver with instructions on how to use the testing device they detected the distinctive strong aroma of cannabis from the car.

They then searched the car under the Misuse of Drugs Act and found what gardai described as a "medium sized bag of what appeared to be cannabis".

The driver, an Irishman in his 30s, was arrested at the scene and taken to Kilmainham Garda station to be questioned under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Gardai then decided to search the man's house at his address in Prosperous Co Kildare.

Members of the force from the Dublin Metropolitan Regional Traffic Division, assisted by local gardai from Naas and Clane in Co Kildare, searched the house in the early hours of yesterday.

It was during this search that gardai uncovered a cannabis cultivation operation yielding a quantity of cannabis plant and herb with a potential street value of approximately €60,000.

The search also discovered €30,000 in cash.

"It was a lucky break for gardai who were trying to weed-out drunk drivers and ended up stumbling across a lucrative cannabis growing and supply operation," said a source.

The seizure in Prosperous is not the first time a cannabis growing operation has been discovered by accident.

Some of the cannabis plants recovered with a potential street value of approximately €60,000

In April of last year firefighters tackling a blaze in a house on Tyrconnell Street, off Tyrconnell Road in Inchicore, stumbled upon a massive cannabis growing operation when they forced their way into a neighbouring property to make sure nobody in the house had been injured.

Gardai seized 98 cannabis plants, worth just under €100,000, in that find.

Meanwhile, two people who were arrested after a separate €5.1m cannabis seizure in the car park of the IKEA store on Friday have been released without charge. A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions

Five people were arrested after the garda operation.

Two were being detained at Finglas Garda Station last night, and one at Ballymun Garda Station.

Officers from the national drugs unit recovered the drugs, with a street value of around €5.4m, after they intercepted what they believed to be a handover of the shipment in the car park.

It brings the total amount of drugs seized by gardai to more than ¿16.5m in the past month.

The latest seizure follows a big intelligence gathering operation mounted by the national unit into the activities of a south county Dublin gang with overseas contacts.

The officers were backed up by detectives from the organised crime unit in yesterday afternoon's swoop on the suspects at the IKEA park in Ballymun.

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