Five men appear in court in connection with €5.3m drugs seizure

Five men have appeared in court in Dublin charged in connection with a €5.3m drugs haul.

Cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy were recovered - as well as guns and ammunition - when gardaí carried out raids at four locations in Dublin and Meath on Thursday.

Four of the five were granted applications for bail.

Nine men in total were arrested as part of this ongoing Garda operation tackling the sale and supply of drugs.

The following drugs, firearms and ammunition were seized:

· 178 kgs Cannabis Herb with an estimated street value of €3.56m

· 261 kgs Cannabis Resin with an estimated street value of €1.57m

· 76,000 suspected Ecstasy tablets with an estimated street value of €760,000

· 1 kg of a powder substance

· Ammunition

· 6 firearms - 5 handguns and one machine gun

Five men appeared before Judge Patrick Clyne at the courts of criminal justice this afternoon.

They are 46-year-old Alan Wallace of Kilcronin Drive, Bawnogue, Clondalkin, Russian native Jakob Kedzerski, 31, of Verdemont Apartments in Blanchardstown, 32-year-old Ivan Tihon of no fixed abode, 31-year-old Jason Hughes of Castlefield Park, Clonsilla, Dublin 15, and 35-year-old Graham Kavanagh of Pearse Street, Dublin 2.

All were charged under Section 3 and Section 15 of the Criminal Justice Act relating to possesion and sale and supply of drugs.

Four of the five men were granted applications for bail pending a number of strict conditions,

Ivan Tihon has been remanded to Cloverhill while Graham Kavanagh and Jason Hughes also remain in custody pending sucessful bail applications.

Tihon, Kavanagh and Hughes will appear in court again next week while Alan Wallace and Jakob Kedserski have been given court dates for June.

Three more men are due in court this evening charged in connection with this investigation while one man is still being questioned by Gardaí.

Detective Chief Superintendent John Mc Mahon said: "Gardaí have today disrupted and dismantled a major gang which operated drug trafficking into Ireland. An Garda Síochána is relentless in the pursuit of drug traffickers.

"This operation is part of on-going Garda activity to tackle organised crime and take drugs and firearms off our streets, This seizure shows how organised crime gangs from Ireland and abroad are using the profits from the sale of drugs such as cannabis to fund the importation of further drugs and firearms.

"By using analytical and intelligence methods, this operation was highly targeted. It has been in the planning for some time and involved a large number of personnel and man-hours. It also involved close co-operation with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and I would like to thank them for their assistance."

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