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arrest made Gardai foil plot to use drone to smuggle drugs and phones into high-security prison

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Photograph of contraband seizure released by An Garda Siochana

Photograph of contraband seizure released by An Garda Siochana

Photograph of contraband seizure released by An Garda Siochana

This is the drone seized by gardai as they foiled a plot to smuggle contraband phones and drug into a high-security jail.

A man, who is in his 20s, was arrested near Portloaise Prison yesterday as part of an ongoing investigation by the Laois Offaly Divisional Drugs Unit.

Gardai said the drone contained mobile phones, chargers and quantities of crack cocaine, cocaine and cannabis, with a combined estimated value of €5,000 - analysis pending.

A garda spokesman said he discovery was made at St Johns’ Square near Portlaoise Prison at approximately 4pm yesterday.

"The man was arrested at the scene and is currently detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996, at Portlaoise Garda Station. He can be held for up to seven days.

"Two cars were also seized by investigating Gardaí during the operation. Investigations are ongoing."

Portlaoise Prison is Ireland's highest security jail and houses a large number of dissident Republicans - as well as gangland figures linked to the Kinahan Cartel.

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