Five members of family held after drugs raids
FIVE members of an extended family have been arrested by gardai after a major investigation into drug trafficking in the south-east.
They were among seven suspects, including a woman, detained yesterday after a series of garda swoops in counties Wexford and Waterford.
The raids were part of Operation Serpentine, which was set up early this year to target a gang involved in the sale and supply of drugs as well as setting up a network of growhouses to cultivate cannabis.
They stemmed from the discovery of a growhouse in Piltown, Co Kilkenny, last spring, where gardai found cannabis with an estimated street value of €2.7m and another growhouse at Tullagher, Co Kilkenny, where cannabis worth €1.3m was found.
As a result of yesterday's raids, gardai arrested a man and his two sons, the wife of one of the sons and her father.
Two other associates were also detained and all were being questioned last night under the drug trafficking legislation at New Ross, Thomastown, Tramore and Waterford garda stations.
During the searches yesterday gardai seized a further haul of herbal cannabis worth €40,000 at a growhouse in Killesk, Campile, Co Wexford, and uncovered a further growhouse with herbal cannabis valued at €18,000 at Shelbaggan, Ramsgrange, Co Wexford.
A kilogram of herbal cannabis, worth €20,000, and 3.5kg of amphetamines, with a street value of €50,000 were discovered at a house at Grange Road, New Ross.
Equipment used in drug cultivation was seized at premises in Ballywilliam, New Ross, and Foulksmills, Co Wexford, where a small amount of cannabis resin was also found, while a small quantity of cocaine was recovered from a house at Dunmaine, Co Wexford.