Jordan Moates: On the frontline during a Portadown police raid

Senior officers briefed the search teams at Mahon Road Police station early this morning.

This pre-planned search operation would target six houses on the same street on the other side of Portadown.

Detectives had the criminal activity of an organised crime group in their sights.

A convoy of police cars made its way through the town before swooping on the residential area just off the Garvaghy Road.

Almost immediately heavily armed officers jumped from the cars and made their way to the houses.

They brought with them specialist equipment to break down doors if those inside didn’t co-operate.

There was the infamous door knocker to break the front door through along with specialist cutting equipment.

In the end they weren’t needed, all doors were opened by those inside.

Detectives spent 4 hours searching the houses with a fine tooth comb.

Specialist sniffer dogs were brought in to detect anything illegal in the houses.

The haul of materials recovered began with a chance discovery by the officers in the street.

They found a small bag of cocaine on the ground, it’s believed a passerby may have emptied their pockets fearing they would be searched.

Then a large amount of cash was recovered in the attic of one house.

Inside another house nearly a hundred bags of illegal tobacco were bagged and brought to the evidence vehicle.

The main recovery came from one house where a number of dangerous weapons were taken off the street.

Nine guns were boxed and brought away for examination after they were examined by armed response officers.

Six swords were also taken away, including one that was too big for any evidence box the PSNI had at the scene.

This operation was targeting the criminal activity of an organised crime group.

It is part of a wider operation that began towards the end of the last year.

There was one arrest during todays searches, however the main aim will have been to disrupt the groups activities.

In that regard, today will likely be regarded as a success.

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