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Crown Jewels Six charged following Operation Coronation targeting Limerick drug gang's assets

Five of them were charged with knowingly possessing large cash sums, linked to the proceeds of crime and the sixth was charged with horse-related offences

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Moyross Searches

Moyross Searches

Moyross Searches

Six people have been charged following a major garda operation targeting the assets of a drug gang in Limerick city.

Five of them appeared before Limerick District Court, charged with knowingly possessing large cash sums, linked to the proceeds of crime.

Meanwhile the sixth person was charged with horse-related offences.

A total of 19 people were arrested as part of the massive garda Operation Coronation which involved over 300 gardaí as well as members of the Defence Forces, Revenue and Customs. Homes, businesses and lands on Shannonside were searched.

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First Brigade of the Corp of Engineers assisted by the Infantry searching wasteland near Delmege Park, Moyross, Limerick city. Photo: Brendan Gleeson

First Brigade of the Corp of Engineers assisted by the Infantry searching wasteland near Delmege Park, Moyross, Limerick city. Photo: Brendan Gleeson

First Brigade of the Corp of Engineers assisted by the Infantry searching wasteland near Delmege Park, Moyross, Limerick city. Photo: Brendan Gleeson

Some €145,000 in cash was seized while eight financial accounts containing €421,000 were frozen, in what was the second major blow to the Keane/Collopy gang in as many years.

The operation resulted in gardaí seizing a massive haul of cash and assets allegedly purchased with the proceeds of serious crime.

Among the items sseized were five designer watches, a BMW, a VW Tiguan, a Range Rover, eight horses, €8,000 worth of suspected cannabis herb, cocaine with a value of €2,000 as well as a cocaine press, weighing scales, vacuum packing machine and a quantity of power substance.

Gardaí also seized 10 horses – including a stallion valued at over €50,000 – as well as a horsebox valued at approximately €10,000.

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Moyross Searches

Moyross Searches

Moyross Searches

Documentation was also seized and is being examined by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

Of the 19 arrested, six were charged and appeared before Limerick District Court while five are currently being held in garda custody. Another eight were charged and released on station bail to appear in court at a later date.

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Five were charged before Limerick District Court, under the Criminal Justice Money Laundering & Terrorist Finance Act, 2020.

Limerick native, Paul Collopy (46), with an address at Gordon Drive, Cloughleigh, Ennis, Co Clare, was remanded in custody on a charge of knowingly possessing €20,575 cash, the proceeds of crime, on March 5, 2020.

Nicole Williams (29), of Clonard, Westbury, Co Clare, was remanded on bail on one count of knowingly handling/acquiring/possessing/using the proceeds of crime to the value of €71,340, on August 16, 2020.

Ms Williams was also charged with one count of possession of a canister of pepper spray on the same date, contrary to Section 2 of the Firearms Act.

Heather McNamara (38), of Childers Road, Cloughleigh, Ennis, Co Clare, was remanded on bail, on one count of knowingly possessing €20,575 in cash proceeds of crime, at an address at Cliona Park, Moyross, Limerick, on March 5, 2020.

Leeann Carey (41), and Patrick Moloney (40), both with the same address at Sean Houston Place, Garryowen, Limerick, were each remanded on bail on a charge of knowingly possessing €32,090 cash proceeds of crime, on a date in January 2021, at their home address.

Mr Moloney was further charged with knowingly possessing €2,340 in cash, on the same date, at the same address.

A sixth man – John McCarthy (50), with an address at Cliona Park, Moyross, Limerick – was remanded on bail to November 17 on charges of keeping two horses in contravention of local authority bylaws, and keeping two unlicensed horses, on September 7, 2021.

A garda source said today’s searches were targeting the activities of a “crime group in Limerick”.

It was a follow-up to similar searches as part of Operation Coronation in June 2020 when gardaí seized €700,000, as well as drugs, guns, and the deeds to a Dubai property.

Two firearms, including a handgun and a bolt-action rifle, as well as an extendable Taser baton concealed in a plastic wrapping, were seized in the 2020 garda raids.

Last year’s search operation targeted 67 homes, premises, and locations across Limerick, Clare and Tipperary, leading to the arrest of 20 people.

A number of those arrested last year were brought before Limerick District Court and charged with drugs offences.

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Gardai in Limerick earlier today

Gardai in Limerick earlier today

Gardai in Limerick earlier today

Gardaí recovered €260,000 in cash, as well as €200,000 which was held in 11 bank accounts, three cars worth around €100,000, jewellery and watches with an estimated value of €100,000, drugs with an estimated street value of €23,500, two cocaine pressing machines, and €6,000 worth of clothing.

The Keane/Collopy gang, which has tentacles across the country and abroad, has been involved in the sale and supply of drugs and weapons for the past two decades.

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