Drugs supplied by Kinahan cartel to one faction in Drogheda feud
One of the gangs embroiled in the deadly Drogheda feud has been dealt a massive blow after detectives seized €2.5m worth of cocaine which was "partially destined" for it.
Last night, three men remained in custody in two Dublin stations - a 59-year-old from Armagh and two Latvian nationals aged 44 and 48.
Senior sources revealed the drugs had been sourced by the Kinahan cartel to be distributed to a number of different crime networks, including the Maguire gang in Drogheda, as well as organised crime gangs based in Northern Ireland.
After the murder of its rival and hitman Robbie Lawlor in Belfast earlier this month, sources said the Maguire gang has taken the "upper hand" in the Drogheda feud, which has so far claimed four lives.
However, the massive cocaine seizure is "going to hurt their business operations".
"The intelligence indicates that the cocaine was brought into the country by the cartel to be distributed among a number of crime organisations based in Co Louth and Northern Ireland," a senior source said.
Investigations were still at a delicate stage last night as follow-up searches involving the PSNI took place and gardaí tried to carry out full background checks on the two arrested Latvian men who are not resident here.
Gardaí yesterday announced details of the seizure - one of the biggest drugs hauls of the year.
"In the course of an intelligence-led operation, targeting organised criminality, personnel attached to the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) stopped and searched three vehicles in the Blakes Cross area of Co Dublin on Saturday afternoon.
"The searches that were undertaken by GNDOCB resulted in the discovery and seizure of a quantity of a substance believed to be cocaine with an estimated street value of €2.5m.
"Three men were arrested at the scene and detained at two Dublin Garda stations."
Detective Chief Superintendent Angela Willis, who is head of bureau at GNDOCB, said An Garda Síochána is committed to disrupting the activities of organised criminals supplying drugs to communities.
"This seizure of a substantial quantity of cocaine is significant in disrupting this supply and enabling us to keep people safe," she said.
Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll, who heads special crime operations within An Garda Síochána, said: "We continue to pursue those who engage in serious and organised crime with a view to dismantling the organised crime groups they are associated with.
"This seizure of what is believed to be cocaine and the subsequent arrest of three suspects will assist in achieving that objective".
The Maguire gang is led by crime boss Owen Maguire, who is confined to a wheelchair after being shot multiple times, allegedly by Robbie Lawlor, in July 2018.
The cocaine seizure follows a separate seizure of €1.24m worth of cannabis herb in Co Laois on Friday.
As part of an intelligence-led operation, gardaí located the 62kg haul in a ditch along a road on the Carlow/Laois border.