Gardai investigating the seizure of up to €80,000 of cannabis plants from a grow house in Ballinamuck last week, believe the hoard may have been destined for the Dublin drugs market.
Officers swooped on the premises at around 11pm last Thursday (April 5) where an estimated 200 plants, in various stages of growth, were seized.
A man in his 20s was arrested at the scene and brought to Longford Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act for questioning where he was later released.
Despite no formal charges being handed down, detectives are this week putting together a detailed file for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Sources close to the investigation believe the prime suspect, who is originally from Dublin, had been commuting regularly from the capital to check on the plants and make sure the house was adequately ventilated.
It’s precisely this reason which alerted local gardai from Drumlish and Granard, later prompting senior detectives to launch a surveillance operation on the rented property at Gaigue.
The fact that most of the plants recovered by gardai were described as “mature” or being in their later stages of growth has also led investigators to surmise the items were ready for transportation.
Officers from the Longford/Roscommon Divisional Drugs Unit, who carried out the raid, also managed to recover various cannabis cultivation paraphanelia, including heating and light sensitive equipment.
The total haul, put at around the €80,000 mark, comes just four weeks after gardai seized €10,000 worth of cannabis plants from a house in the Edgeworthstown area.
Like the Ballinamuck raid, weighing equipment, heating utensils and various other drug making apparatuses were recovered.
In that operation however, a Polish national, also in his 20s was arrested before later being released without charge.
Although gardai remain convinced the two incidents carry no direct linkages, the scale of both operations would appear to indicate the market for large-scale homegrown drug cultivation is showing little signs of going away.