60 held in drug dealer crackdown
Sixty people have been arrested as part of a major crackdown on drug dealers.
Over the past 48 hours, more than 100 officers have launched a wave of raids in Dublin, Cork and Wexford in the culmination of an undercover operation which has been going on for the last six months.
The suspects are all expected before the courts this week on charges linked to the sale and supply of heroin, cocaine and other illegal drugs in the east and south of the country.
Over 200 drug charges have already been preferred against those detained.
Chief Superintendent Michael O'Sullivan, of the Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, said the three co-ordinated operations were "methodical and thorough" and were aided by local community support.
"Sixty people will now go before the courts to face serious charges regarding the supply of drugs on a persistent basis within these areas," he said.
"We thank those people who raised concerns regarding the sale of drugs in their local community and for their patience in allowing us the time to go about our investigation, which was methodical and thorough.
"The scourge of drugs in local communities can only be combated with local community support."
In Dublin, 26 men were detained in the south inner city during an investigation codenamed Operation Tempest. The same operation saw the arrest of 45 suspects and more than 100 drug supply charges in Dublin's north inner city last year.
In Cork, 16 men and nine women have been arrested as part of Operation Emerson, which was targeting those involved in the sale and supply of heroin in the city.
Seven men and two women, aged between 22 and 61 years, were arrested as part of Operation Denver in Wexford town and have been charged in connection with the supply of heroin.
Searches were carried out at over 50 houses during the operations.
The Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau was backed up by regional support units, detective units, dog units and local units.
All those arrested were held under section four of the Criminal Justice Act or section two of the Drug Trafficking Act.
A Garda spokesman added: "In response to concerns expressed in local communities gardai put in place long-term intelligence-led operations aimed at gathering evidence against significant drug dealers and effectively dismantling organised criminal groups operating in the Cork, Wexford and Dublin areas."