POLICE deployed a battering ram to force entry to the home of a suspected drug dealer amid a crackdown on organised crime gangs following a wave of shooting incidents in south Edinburgh.
Plain clothes officers launched dawn raids at addresses in Juniper Green and Hyvot Bank Avenue in an operation to detain suspects believed to be linked to several firearm attacks last month.
Around 15 policemen were involved in the double swoop – executed using intelligence-led warrants – but both properties were lying empty.
A major search for narcotics and weapons then got under way.
The raids form part of heightened police activity to target organised crime following three firearms incidents in the Gilmerton area in September.
Detectives are continuing to investigate three firearms incidents in Hyvot Bank, The Murrays Brae and Gilmerton Drive North.
The gun attacks in Gilmerton on September 20 are believed to be connected to another shooting at a house in Fernieside Avenue a fortnight earlier.
Then, a Range Rover belonging to Dionne Hendry, the wife of Marmion pub killer Jamie Bain, was blasted with a shotgun, while a homemade bomb wrapped in a Liverpool FC scarf was placed on the doorstep of her home in The Murrays Brae.
Another device was placed outside a house in Walter Scott Avenue, at around the same time shots were fired at a home in Gilmerton Dykes Drive.
Neither of the bombs were viable but both carried threatening messages, including the note: “Pay what you are due lad.”
Police are working on the case with forces across the UK – including detectives in Merseyside constabulary.
As part of the inquiries into the firearms attacks, two houses in Canongate and Broomhouse were also searched on Wednesday night with drugs and cash recovered worth £700 and £500 respectively.
Detective Chief Inspector Kenny Gray said: “I would like to thank our communities for their continued support and assistance, which is proving invaluable in tackling serious and organised crime in the Capital.”