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Garda operation Three arrested as gardai target Midlands gang linked to recent gun seizure

Senior sources say that this week’s operation is linked to the discovery of a handgun and a quantity of drugs which were discovered buried in a wasteland on the Canal Road in Portarlington last July.

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Gun discovered in Laois last year

Gun discovered in Laois last year

Gun discovered in Laois last year

A midlands based organised crime gang with major links to Limerick were the targets of a major garda operation which led to three arrests yesterday.

The mob whose base is in Portarlington, Co Laois, have been using the motorway network for their operations which include drug dealing and organised nationwide burglary rackets.

Some members of the gang have links to the infamous McCarthy/Dundon mob in Limerick as well as a number of gangs based in the capital.

Senior sources say that this week’s operation is linked to the discovery of a handgun and a quantity of drugs which were discovered buried in a wasteland on the Canal Road in Portarlington last July.

The firearm, a magazine and ammunition were discovered wrapped in plastic and buried on the site.

A glass jar containing €6,000 was also recovered from the site on that occasion.

“There were no arrests at the time but has been a major investigation since that seizure was made,” a senior source said.

“In fairness, this particular crew has been under investigation by gardai for many years now and some of its members are before the courts on drugs and other charges,” the source added.

Gardai announced details of their operation this morning.

“Gardaí have arrested three men following a number of searches carried out in the Portarlington area of Co. Laois, yesterday, 3rd March 2021,” a garda spokesman said.

“The searches were conducted as part of an investigation into organised crime, drugs and firearms trafficking across the Midlands area.

“The operation was led by the Laois Detective Unit and Laois Drugs Unit supported by the Armed Support Unit, Air Support Unit, Garda Dog Unit, uniformed members from the Laois/Offaly Division, Customs and Revenue and the Laois Dog Warden.

“Three men have been arrested under Section 30 Offences Against the State Act and are being detained at Portlaoise, Tullamore and Birr Garda Stations,” he added.

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