Gardai believe that they have disrupted a major cross-border drugs distribution network after the arrest of four people in Co Louth yesterday following a surveillance operation.
Detectives from the Dundalk Drugs and Crime Unit pounced on the suspects after a drugs-handover took place in the Castlebellingham area.
Senior sources say that a couple travelled from Co Derry to the location in Co Louth to buy the cocaine which gardai said had a street value of €50,000.
It is understood that the couple had paid for the drugs with £12,000 sterling and the cash and drugs has been seized.
“Four persons were arrested during the course of the incident; one female and three males, all aged in their 30s,” a garda spokeswoman said.
“All four are currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 in Dundalk and Drogheda Garda Stations respectively,” she added.
It can be revealed that apart from the couple from Co Derry, the other two men arrested are well known criminals from the Darndale area.
One of them is a 34-year-old with multiple previous convictions including for firearms and drug offences.
He previously served a jail term after being caught with a large haul of cannabis and a number of shotguns.
The other is a criminal aged in his 30s who has been a big target for gardai for years.
“The belief is that the Darndale gang has been travelling to the border area where a number of drop-off’s happen with criminals based in Northern Ireland,” a senior source said.
“This seems to have been happening for some time and yesterday’s arrest is part of an intelligence operation,” the source said.