Saturday 20 January 2018

Prolific drugs gang dealt major blow as gardai seize over €1m worth of drugs

Two men remain in garda custody. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Two men remain in garda custody. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Cannabis herb on display as part of the EUR 1 Million worth of drugs seized as part of an intelligence led operation by the Garda National Drugs Unit (GNDU) in Drogheda. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Detective Superintendent Stephen Courage of the (GNDU) with the haul of drugs (cannabis herb, cocaine, heroin and mixing agent). Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Ken Foy

ONE of the country's most prolific drugs gangs has been dealt a major blow after gardai seized over €1m worth of drugs in a special operation in west Dublin last night.

The mob, who have been nicknamed ‘The Family', have been major targets for specialised gardai for years and last night's bust was one of the biggest successes to date against them.

A source told the Herald: “They will be hurting over last night's seizure.”

One gang suspect was even caught mixing cocaine when officers raided a property at Croftwood Park, Ballyfermot, during a planned search by the local drugs unit.

Gardai discovered 13kgs of cocaine with an estimated street value of €900,000 and 1.5kgs of heroin with an estimated street value of €225,000.

Two men – both aged 32 – remain in garda custody at Ballyfermot garda station today.

Both are closely aligned to the notorious drugs gang.

A very close associate of one of the arrested men was previously given a lengthy jail term after he was caught with almost €2m of heroin over a decade ago following a surveillance operation by the gardai.

Last night's seizure is the biggest gardai have had against ‘The Family' for almost two years, when they seized a huge haul of heroin from them.

Sources say the gang – who have few previous criminal convictions of note – is led by at least four middle-aged brothers.

They are hugely feared in the communities they operate in and have been previously linked to a number of shootings.

The traffickers who have been targeted by the Criminal Assets Bureau in the past are described as “a highly unusual but very effective crew” and some even work everyday jobs.

Sources say that the mob's stronghold is the Ballyfermot, Clondalkin and Tallaght areas.

A number of years ago, special operations were set up in the Tallaght area, which means that some of the gang’s footsoldiers are facing drug dealing charges before the courts.

It is understood that ‘The Family' have been flooding Dublin with heroin and other drugs for almost two decades and have built up allegiances with a number of other dangerous drugs gangs.

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