Garda chiefs are confident of bringing charges against nine members of a major drug dealing operation in Co Longford following their arrests earlier today.
A financial profiler is liaising with detectives this afternoon as they continue to question seven men and two women this afternoon at various garda stations across Longford and Roscommon.
They were arrested at a number of locations in Longford town during a planned garda operation involving 60 officers and members from the Armed Support Unit.
They range in ages from 18 to 55 and can be held for a period of up to 24 hours under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.
The operation followed an 18 month surveillance led operation that concentrated their efforts on "high value targets" involved in the supply and distribution of drugs in the Longford town area.
Speaking at a media briefing this afternoon, Superintendent Jim Delaney said a quantity of drugs including cannabis, cocaine and heroin had been retrieved, much of which had been taken from over 50 'street transactions' involving undercover gardaí.
"They (suspects) have been identified through intellegence of being linked to criminal gangs involved in the distribution of controlled drugs in the greater Longford area in particular the urban area of Longford," he said.
Among those being questioned include a father and son while other members of the group are believed to have close links to the Traveller community.
Supt Delaney added the nine strong group were what he described as "high value targets" in the ongoing fight against organised crime.
Despite admitting he remained "confident" resultant charges would follow, Supt Delaney underlined just how significant this morning's operation was in terms of ridding drug dealing from the streets of Co Longford.
"We haven't designated a value," he said, when asked about the quantity of drugs seized.
"We are talking about street value deals of €20-€30 and it's the impact of that and public perception of that and how it results on assaults, public order and street violence.
"What it does show is the huge and strong evidence of the commitment of the Gardaí to enhancing the quality of public life in our community."
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