Gardai believe they have uncovered a major drug making operation after cannabis plants worth in excess of €25,000 were seized in Granard on Monday night.
The plants were discovered just outside the town in an area of woodland as part of renewed efforts to crack down on the production and distribution of drugs in the north Longford area.
A team from Granard Gardai backed up by a group of officers from the region’s Divisional Drugs Unit unearthed the plants at around 9pm.
No arrests have been made in relation to the haul but sources close to the investigation are hopeful of making further progress with their enquiries over the coming days.
Although the investigation is still very much in its early stages, gardai are trying to piece together why so many cannabis plants were left in an open area of woodland in one of the county’s largest urban areas.
What is even more mystifying is the fact none of the plants were accompanied with sophisticated heating, lighting and ventilation equipment normally used by criminals for the intensive growth of such plants.
It’s also understood a number of the plants had been recently cut for “harvesting purposes” investigating officers believe.
“It was part of an ongoing operation into the supply and cultivation of drugs by Granard Gardai and the District Drugs Unit,” a source told the Leader.
“The plants were found in a wooded area and on foot of enquiries that were made a search was carried out on the outskirts of Granard Town. Gardai located a number of cannabis plants growing there. No arrests have been made but enquiries are ongoing.”
He agreed that the discovery of such a large quantity of plants outdoors represented an “unusual departure” for criminals as cannabis plants are normally kept indoors, in a heated area under close supervision.
By Liam Cosgrove