Monday, 1 February 2010

Top crime figure held in €300,000 drugs find

Top crime figure held in €300,000 drugs find
By Barry Duggan

Monday February 01 2010

ONE of the country's main criminal gangs has been dealt a major blow after gardai seized €300,000 worth of heroin and arrested a leading member of the outfit.

The crime figure was arrested in Limerick by gardai investigating the latest feud-related shooting in the city over the weekend.

Officers also recovered a shotgun that was used in the attack.

On Saturday evening, during a major search, gardai recovered a major cache of heroin on the Ballysimon road -- four miles from the city.

Two men were arrested as part of the investigation, and heroin with an estimated street value of €300,000 was recovered. It is understood the narcotics belonged to the Collopy criminal gang.

A 22-year-old man, considered to be a leading member of the gang, was arrested by gardai. He is a well-known criminal in the city and served a prison sentence for drug dealing.

The other individual being detained is from Dublin.

Meanwhile, detectives from Roxboro garda station were last night questioning a 25-year-old man suspected of being involved in the shooting of another man in the city on Saturday evening. The victim, aged in his 20s and from Bruff, Co Limerick, was shot on Carey's Road at around 5pm.

An assailant armed with a shotgun fired at least one shot at the intended target. He suffered pellet wounds to the legs and was brought to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital.

The man suspected to have carried out the shooting was arrested a short time later on Hyde Road. He can be held for up seven days. It is believed that the incident is drug-related and that the victim was targeted after he fell into debt with one of the city's criminal gangs.


Separately, gardai recovered a shotgun they believe was used in the shooting of a 27-year-old criminal in the city on January 22. The victim, who is also a member of the Collopy gang, was shot twice in the Ballynanty area of the city as thousands of rugby fans left nearby Thomond Park.

He was targeted by members of the McCarthy-Dundon criminal gang after his release from prison for drugs offences.

A 17-year-old who was arrested in connection with the incident was released without charge over the weekend.

- Barry Duggan

Irish Independent

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