20 face drugs charges after major undercover operation

Over 20 people were last night facing charges relating to alleged drug dealing after the culmination of a six-month undercover Garda operation aimed at breaking up illegal drug supply networks in Waterford City.

About 45 gardaí were involved in search and arrest operations throughout the city and its outskirts late on Tuesday night and early yesterday as a result of intelligence gathered through Operation Raptor since last autumn.

At least 20 people were due to be brought before a special sitting of Waterford District Court last night while another four who were already in custody were also charged in relation to yesterday’s swoop.

One Garda source said: “Heroin is prevalent in the city and we mainly targeted heroin.”

Some cocaine was also discovered during searches of 24 houses and apartments. The majority of the properties were in the city centre.

Gardaí from the divisional and national drugs units have been involved in intelligence-gathering over the last six months while a number of gardaí worked undercover.

As a result of the intelligence which the undercover work yielded, senior officers ordered the searches.

According to Garda headquarters, the covert operation “dismantled a number of significant drug distribution networks operating in Waterford City”.

The 20 people arrested were brought for questioning to Garda stations in Waterford City, Tramore, Dungarvan, New Ross, and Thomastown. The suspects ranged in age from 17 to 50 and all but one were male.


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