This is when Spanish police and the gardai raided a home on the Costa Del Sol in an operation targeting a Sligo gang led by crime boss Barry Young.
Agents from the Criminal Assets Bureau were also involved in the searches in Alicante targeting the organized crime group.
The raids were carried out in a joint operation involving Spain’s Policía Nacional and the Garda’s National Bureau of Drugs and Organized Crime.
It can be revealed that the target of the searches was an international drug ring associated with crime boss Barry Young.
Earlier this month, Young pleaded guilty to leading a criminal organization and is currently behind bars awaiting sentencing.
In a statement posted on their social media channels today, An Garda Siochana wrote:
“As part of an ongoing investigation into organized crime in Sligo, we have been working with our Spanish colleagues @policia on a number of house searches in Alicante.
“Sligo Gardaí is supported by @criminalassets and our National Drugs and Organized Crime Bureau.”
Young, 37, currently in custody at Portlaoise Prison, pleaded guilty this month to running a criminal organization at the Special Criminal Court after a long career as a major gangland player.
Young admitted that he ran a crime ring in and out of state between 2019 and 2022. The drug dealer had also lived between the northwest and Spain.
A convicted drug dealer, Young is regarded as one of the biggest players in the drug scene outside Ireland and has links to major gangs, including Dublin’s ‘Mr Big’ network.
Young ventured into the lucrative turf of Sligo, Donegal and Leitrim and his network of dealers took control, even managing to bribe a disgraced garda into leaking sensitive information over a five-month period.
Former Garda Jimell Henry was jailed for 18 months after accessing the force’s Pulse system from her base in Sligo and passing ‘details’ to Young’s crew in Sligo. A court heard that she was compromised by a drug addiction.
Young was a close associate of Mark ‘Guinea Pig’ Desmond for many years and the West Dublin enforcer moved to Sligo to work as a heavy before being murdered in a Lucan park in December 2016.
It is clear that Young had worked hard to keep his distance from the law, rarely staying in one place for long, and using counter-surveillance techniques.
But like many wealthy criminals before him, he got lazy and thought he was untouchable, and resorted to doing business on his regular smartphone via WhatsApp.
It is clear that the weight of evidence against him led him to plead guilty to the serious charge that could lead to life imprisonment. He will be sentenced in May.
On March 10, Young, whose address is Geldof Drive, Cranmore, Co Sligo, was charged with directing the activities of a criminal organization between October 4, 2019 and January 15, 2022, both dates included, both in and out of state.
Fiona Murphy SC, on behalf of the state, said the DPP agreed that Mr Young could be charged without prejudice under section 14 of the charge.
The 37-year-old replied “guilty” when the clerk filed charges against him.
Michael Bowman SC, for the accused, asked for a May 9 date to return the case to court.
He also requested an extension of legal aid to cover the cost of a counsel’s report Young had seen before going into custody. Mr Justice Tony Hunt granted this request.
Ms Murphy said a trial date of April 17 had been set and could now be vacated.
The suspect has been placed in pre-trial detention until May 9.