In a press release sent to the newsrooms, the PSP's Azores Regional Command explains that during "an investigation led by the Public Ministry of Ribeira Grande it was possible for investigators from the PSP's Anti-Crime Brigade to collect several clues" that "point to a framework of drug trafficking practiced by the defendants", aged 51 and 22 years.

The alleged drug trafficking was carried out in one of the most populous neighbourhoods in Ribeira Grande, specifically in the heart of the parish of Ribeira Seca, reports the PSP.

The PSP said that a police operation was mounted that "unveiled the patterns in which the criminal activity developed and was carried out".

The operation made it possible to seize "700 individual doses of heroin, 50 doses of marijuana, 10 grams of psychoactive substances (known as synthetic drugs), a firearm, as well as "monetary amounts and other items directly related to the criminal activity carried out by the defendants", the note reads.

"Several pieces of evidence were collected, at different points in the investigation, which pointed to a drug trafficking network headed by the main suspect in the case, who used other defendants to proceed with the disposal of illicit substances by the countless consumers who travelled to the parish of Ribeira Seca," explains PSP.

The PSP also refers that the arrests, seizures and "the corresponding dismantling of the criminal network will have proved essential to stop the instability that was felt in the nerve centre of the parish of Ribeira Seca", due to the "significant influx of drug addicts that they travelled there solely to acquire different types of narcotics, namely synthetic drugs", which allegedly also "promoted the practice of crimes" with "a high degree of violence".

The Regional Command also indicates that "the main defendant in the process" was in "pre-trial detention", after being present for questioning in the Judicial Court of Ponta Delgada.