The Mayo Drugs Unit is swooping on 2.5 dealers and uncovering at least one grow operation on average every month.
The latest drug figures revealed by the unit show they have caught 214 dealers since the unit was set up in 2007, and uncovered 88 cannabis growing operations.
The unit’s Detective Sgt Jim Cadden said the growing operations were mainly run by Irish, Polish and Chinese nationals.
More than 1,000 individuals have been detected using drugs - an average of 12 people each month.
Sgt. Cadden said some trends the unit are seeing include the increasing availability of ‘grass’ in Mayo. Grass is a more potent cannabis plant deriviative.
Cannabis is the most common drug in the county and the most lucrative.
He said cocaine also appears to be on the rise again in Mayo. The unit seized €20,000 worth of the drug recently in Ballina and made another seizure of €7,000 at a house in Castlebar this month.
In a presentation to the joint policing committee in Ballina this week, Sgt Cadden also displayed a 300 volt stun gun seized in Ballina, which would “leave a man on the ground”, and cans of pepper spray kept by drug dealers. Sgt.Cadden said the Mayo Drugs Unit is successful in terms of detection rates.
“As country divisions go, we’re taking a fair bit off the streets,” he said.