A LIMERICK man allegedly caught with €750,000 worth of heroin as part of an ongoing operation into the illegal sale and supply of controlled drugs is due to appear in court later today.
The man, who is in his late 30s and who is from the Glenroe area, was arrested on Monday night at approximately 10pm following the search of a car at Castlebellingham, County Louth.
He was detained at Dundalk garda station under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996 and is scheduled to appear before Dundalk District Court today charged in connection with this seizure.
A senior source described the arrested man, who does not have any previous convictions, as a “sole operator” who was not strongly linked to any of the well-known crime gangs.
He was arrested when gardai from the Garda National Drugs Unit and Organised Crime Unit seized heroin with an estimated value of €750,000 following the search of the car at Castlebellingham.
The seizure was part of an ongoing operation into the illegal sale and supply of controlled drugs in the Leinster area.
“These operations use advanced analytical and intelligence methods to disrupt criminals and dismantle their networks,” said a garda spokesperson.
It is understood that the suspect had been under detailed surveillance by specialist officers for some time.
The arrested man was previously the subject of alleged chilling threats over the past year but it has never been verified how serious the threats against him are.
It is understood that he alleged that he had received threatening phone calls as part of a dispute with another man.
Sources say that the arrested man may have links to a drugs bust which happened in August last year at Rosslare Europort.
The man was never arrested and charged in relation to the seizure of €1m worth of cannabis on that occasion, a crime for which a 23-year-old Northern Irishman is serving a three year jail sentence.
The detection follows a major drugs seizure in Limerick city late last week when two people were arrested after gardai seized drugs with an estimated value of €100,000 in Caherdavin.
As part of an ongoing operation by gardai attached to the District Drug Unit in Roxboro Road, a car was stopped at Davin Gardens, Caherdavin on Thursday, October 30 and searched.
During the course of the search gardai discovered cannabis herb - subject to analysis - with an approximate street value of €100,000.
Two people - a man aged 54 years and a woman, aged 40 - were arrested and were detained under the provisions of section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1996 at Mayorstone and Roxboro garda stations.
“Drug seizures play a critical role in targeting the livelihood of criminals and reducing their ability to carry out illegal activities,” said a garda spokesperson.
“Drug seizures also help protect communities from the devastating impact of drugs and the associated criminality.”