Ballina councillor Michael Loftus has said that huge grow operations should be a warning to people who own homes in remote areas who might be offered cash to rent them out. It comes after Gardaí yesterday seized approximately €333,000 worth of drugs in the Ballina area as part of an operation targeting the sale and supply of drugs in the Mayo Garda Division.
Cllr Loftus says electrical power is critical for growhouses and that “very elaborate heating systems” are installed.
Members of the Mayo Divisional Drugs Taskforce, the Armed Support Unit, the Garda Dog Unit, and Gardaí attached to Ballina Garda Station searched a total of eight properties during a seven-hour long operation.
A cannabis growhouse containing suspected cannabis plants valued at approximately €265,000 was discovered at a house in Attymass, Ballina and Gardaí seized €30,000 worth of cannabis herb in a garden shed during the search of a house in Ballina town. A further search was conducted at a house in Ballina where €20,000 worth of suspected cannabis herb, €7,000 worth of suspected cocaine, and a quantity of suspected steroid tablets were seized. Gardaí also recovered a small quantity of ammunition.
One man was arrested in connection with the Attymass seizure and a woman in her mid-30s was arrested Arising from a separate search at a house in Ballina town €11,000.
All drugs are subject to analysis, and investigations are ongoing.