Longford drugs arrests will "seriously disrupt" gangs activities

Seven men and two women detained all from immediate Longford area

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Members of the armed regional response unit were deployed

Members from the gardaí's Armed Support Unit have been involved in a number of searches in Longford town this morning which resulted in the arrests of nine people.

Garda chiefs believe the arrests of nine people this morning will "seriously disrupt" the sale and supply of drugs in the Longford region.

Seven men and two women are currently being questioned by detectives following a large scale operation involving up to 50 gardaí and members from the Armed Support Unit.

All nine suspects who are being held at a number of garda stations across Longford and Roscommon are from the immediate area.

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A number of those currently being detained are related to one another and include a father and son from the Longford town area.

They range in ages 18 and 55 and can be held for up to 24 hours under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984. 

It's understood this morning's operation formed part of a concerted 18 month surveillance led initiative, involving locally based gardaí as well as officers from the Roscommon/Longford Divisional Drugs Unit.

Investigating officers, many of whom went undercover for several months, concentrated their efforts on "high value targets" involved in the supply and distribution of drugs in the Longford town area.

Supt Jim Delaney paid testament to what he termed was a "huge investment" of garda resources and evidence gathering.

Those efforts have been met with universal appreciation from across the local political spectrum.
Longford/Westmeath Fianna Fáíl TD Robert Troy said the events of this morning was indicative of the dedication gardaí continued to uphold in the fight against organised crime.

In calling on Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan to roll out additional resources specifically geared towards combating drug dealing, Mr Troy said: "Full credit has to go the Gardaí in bringing this investigation to such a successful conclusion.

"What it does demonstrate is the importance of having gardaí in our communities as well as the need for more garda resources to prevent the scourge of crime and criminality."

They were sentiments which were echoed by the head of Longford's Joint Policing Committee (JPC) Cllr Gerry Warnock.

"Drug dealing and in particular heroin dealing has been a cancer on our community for far too long now," he said.

"This latest operation is something that the people of Longford have been waiting on for quite some time and it’s my sincere hope that these valiant efforts produce tangible results in our fight against the dealers who have neither care nor conscience to the damage their criminal activities are causing ordinary decent people.”