A cross-border drugs gang has been disrupted following the imprisonment of four of its members.
Desmond Enfield, 34, from Ramelton in Co Donegal; Kieran Austin, 61, from Lurgan; Darren Donnelly, 33, from Sixmilecross, Omagh and Seamus Boyce, 38, from Letterkenny, Co Donegal were all jailed at Craigavon Crown Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to a series of drugs offences.
The men were arrested in April 2016 and £300,000 worth of cannabis was recovered following a joint operation by the PSNI and the Garda into a drugs gang operating in the Londonderry and County Donegal areas.
Enfield received a 12-month prison term, and 12 months on licence, Boyce and Austin were jailed for eight months with eight months on licence, and Donnelly received a six-month prison term and six months on licence.
They had previously pleaded guilty to a number of charges including conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and possession of Class B drugs.
PSNI Detective Inspector Tom McClure, of the Organised Crime Unit, said officers searched three vehicles in a layby at Derrymacash Road, Lurgan, on April 22 2016.
In one of the vehicles, officers uncovered herbal cannabis with an estimated street value of £300,000 in 15 vacuum packed plastic bags in the back of one of the vehicles.
He said the three male occupants – Enfield, Boyce and Austin – were arrested at the scene.
Following further inquiries police were able to prove the involvement of HGV driver Donnelly.
“This organised crime gang were supplying large quantities of controlled drugs into the Derry/Londonderry and Donegal areas which had the potential to cause significant harm,” said Mr McClure.
He added: “The supply of controlled drugs by gangs is the cause of significant harm in our communities. Those who involve themselves in such criminality should expect to end up in a prison cell.
“There is no place in our society for these individuals who are only interested in making money for their own personal gain at the expense of others.
“They do not care that their actions could end up killing people. Drugs not only affect the person taking them, their families and the community also suffer.”