GARDAI have dealt a “significant” blow to the drugs distribution network operating in Limerick city, according to Superintendent Frank O’Brien of Henry Street.
Gardai with the Limerick Divisional Drugs Unit, based in Henry Street, plus support from National Drugs Unit, arrested 28 people as part of a major operation targeting drug dealing in Limerick over the weekend.
The arrests were made under ‘Operation Kelso’, a six month covert operation targeting both low-level drug dealers and major suppliers in the city and county, which saw dealers monitored for a lengthy period. Those arrested were involved in the sale and supply of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine in Limerick.
Sixteen people - including four women - were arrested across Limerick city and county on Friday as part of the operation, with a further nine people, including two women, arrested on Saturday. They were charged with drug related offences and released on bail, to appear before a sitting of Limerick District Court on Thursday.
Three men in their 20s were also detained by gardai in Newcastle West as part of the operation after a van was intercepted and a quantity of drugs seized. They were later released.
Gardai believe they have struck a major blow to the illegal drug trade in the region and expect to have arrested between 34 and 37 people by the middle of this week as part of the operation, levelling in the region of 60 drugs charges in total by the time it is concluded.
“The operation was to try and dismantle the distribution network that was operating here in the city, that was the prime purpose,” explained Superintendent Frank O’Brien.
“Certainly when we are getting evidence to bring charges against 34 plus people, it is a significant development in achieving that target. We expect it will be the early part of the week, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday, before we have the operation completed and we reach all of our targets.
He added: “Ultimately all of the figures will have to account for their actions”.
Cocaine with a street value of €2,500 has been seized as part of the operation. Twelve men and women appeared before Limerick District Court on Friday charged with the sale and supply of drugs.
Cllr Michael Hourigan, chairman of Limerick city’s Joint Policing Committee, said that he was “delighted to see gardai making significant inroads into the war on drugs”.
He said: “Drugs continue to be a scourge on our community and I hope that this operation will significantly obstruct the drugs trade in Limerick”.