THREE men continue to be detained in garda stations at Kilkenny city and Thomastown following a massive drugs find in South Kilkenny, estimated at over E3 million writes Sean Keane.
Cannabis, some harvested and much of it still in pots was found in a warehouse close to Kildalton College and Piltown GAA Club in Piltown yesterday evening in a planned raid following a surveillance operation. It marks the second time in a year that large scale drug cultivation units have been found in the south of the county.
Three men, all in their 30s continue to be detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996. Detectives were taken by surprise by the level of sophistication and the extent of the operation at Kildalton. The men working there had been acting as full time gardeners and there were sleeping units and a kitchen there.
Garda chiefs had targeted the area following a successful undercover operation which resulted in a large seizure of cannabis plants in Mooncoin, four miles away.
The innocent owners of the unit had no idea what was going on. there are still in a state of shock. The large industrial units had been rented out for the last eight months to those involved.
Some of the cannabis was of the herbal variety neatly stacked at the side while hundreds of plants continued to grow under an intricate heating and light system.
The operation was carried out by members of the Garda National Drugs Unit and Gardai from the Kilkenny Division and Regional Support Units