Three arrests in separate raids by police drugs unit
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
A MOURNE councillor has warned that the South Down area is facing a major drugs epidemic.
Sean Doran called for a tougher approach from police in tackling drug dealers who he said are "flooding the South Down area with drugs" in a week that saw a number of drug-related arrests in Newry and South Down.
Last week police, as part of Operation Torus, discovered a cannabis factory with 72 plants in a house in Seaview Heights, Ballymartin, while drugs arrests were also made in Newry when five cannabis plants were found in a house raid in the city on Wednesday, March 5, and police also uncovered a large quantity of suspected
Class C drugs during a house search at a property in the St Clare's Avenue area of the city. While welcoming the arrests, Mr Doran said he would like to see the PSNI tackling "large dealers".
He said: "At present there is a major drugs epidemic in Kilkeel and I am told it's easier to buy drugs on the streets of the town than on the streets of Amsterdam.
“If we are to tackle this scourge then we need identify those people who are operating in organised gangs in importing, selling and laundering the money.
“The courts also have a major role to play as they often much too lenient on drug dealers as repeat offenders continuously get bail and are straight back onto the streets peddling their wares.
“These people should be remanded in custody and brought before courts where the sentence much match the crime." Following the find in Ballymartin, a 34-year-old was arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis and possession of Class B drugs. Regarding the discovery of five cannabis plants during a raid in Newry, a 25-year-old man was charged with cultivating cannabis and will appear before Newry Magistrates Court on April 2.
A 41-year-old male arrested for possession of criminal property, and possession of Class C drugs with intent to supply following the raid in St Clare's Avenue. A quantity of prescription drugs and steroids were also seized.
He was released on bail pending further enquiries.
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