Eight people were arrested following early morning polices raids at properties in Portadown, county Armagh.
Detectives from Reactive and Organised Crime Branch made the arrests this morning (Monday).
The seven men, aged 52, 39, 36, 31, 30 and two aged 29, and a 22-year-old female were arrested as part of a pro-active policing operation against the supply of heroin in the Greater Portadown area.
Detectives from Reactive and Organised Crime have also arrested another man during their proactive policing operation against the supply of heroin in the Craigavon area.
A 45-year-old man has been arrested under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
In total, nine people have been arrested and are currently assisting police with their enquiries.
Detective Inspector Keith Gawley said: “The suspects were all arrested this morning and searches have been conducted at a number of addresses in the Portadown area.
“They have all been taken to Musgrave Police Station for questioning on suspicion of supplying a class A controlled drug, possession of a class A controlled drug and possessing a class A controlled drug with intent to supply and are currently in custody assisting police with their enquiries.
“This operation is yet another example of our determination to reduce the availability of this killer drug and I appeal to anyone who has any concerns or information about illegal drugs to contact their local Police on the non-emergency number 101.
“Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Commander, Superintendent Davy Moore said: “Today’s operation is the culmination of a complex and protracted investigation into the supply of illegal drugs across Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon area involving local officers, TSG and our colleagues from Reactive and Organised Crime Branch. Working together to address the supply of heroin we have conducted six searches and arrested eight people.
“This operation illustrates our commitment to work with the community across this District to address the scourge of drugs and the havoc it wreaks. We will continue to play our part and would encourage anyone who has information about the supply and use of illegal drugs to contact us on 101.”
Upper Bann DUP MLA Sydney Anderson has welcomed the police action.
He said: “I welcome the news that this morning police detectives have made eight arrests in the greater Portadown area in relation to the supply of heroin.
“I want to commend the PSNI in relation to this recent proactive operation in the area against the supply of drugs, which are causing untold misery on the local community.
“There is a great deal of concern across the community about the prevalence of illegal drugs on the streets of Northern Ireland especially in our local towns and villages.
“I want to urge anyone with information on drug dealing to come forward to the police and help play a part in stopping those responsible and remove drugs and drug dealers from our streets.”
Great work by the PSNI this morning in the fight against drugs. Large scale operation in Armagh and Craigavon with 8 arrests too date.
— Cllr Carla Lockhart (@carlalockhart) February 29, 2016
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