These were the scenes at a housing estate in Edgeworthstown yesterday (Tuesday) morning after gardai carried out a wave of searches across north Longford against a major organised crime gang.
Around 20 officers from Granard, Edgeworthstown, Drumlish backed up by the Regional Garda Support Unit as well as members of the Garda Reserve took part in the raids shortly before midday.
It’s understood the main focus of the searches, codenamed Operation Wireless, centred on a Traveller gang with links to the greater Dublin area.
Senior detectives believe many of its leading members to be involved in aggrevated burglaries and car thefts before later cloning or ‘ringing’ them with fake identities and putting them back on the market.
Among the many items retrieved over the course of a three to four hour period included bank details, diesel siphoning equipment, car registration plates and other paraphernalia and a large quantity of cash.
It’s hoped those searches will allow gardai to hand down charges against their main targets under new anti-gangland legislation in the new year.
Yesterday’s large scale undertaking which forms part of a broader anti crime initiative called Operation Aimisr also saw the arrest of another two men in Granard, suspected of carrying out a string of burglaries in the north Longford town in recent weeks. Both were later charged and are expected to appear in court in the near future.
Spearheaded by the district’s most senior officer Superintendent Ian Lackey and Sgt Lionel Mullally, gardai were last night running the rule over their extensive search operation.
“It is the latest in a string of operations designed by gardai against crime in Granard and North Longford,” said Sgt Mullally.
“It follows on Operation Rebus earlier in the year that focused on 24 suspected drug dealers in the north Longford area and led to the discovery of two cannabis grow houses with many of the targets being arrested and prosecuted. Operation Aimsir has been combined with the Text Alert initiative in the North Longford area that has seen burglaries decrease by over 35 per cent.”
The reduction, Sgt Mullally added, was also down to the committment shown by communities and parishes across the region.