The son of the convicted loyalist leader Johnny Adair is among six people arrested during a series of police raids in northern England.
Officers targeted five houses
Jonathan Adair, 19, was arrested on suspicion of drugs offences along with a 22-year-old man at a hotel on the M61 in Anderton, near Chorley in Lancashire.
Police searched five houses in Greater Manchester in the early hours of Tuesday, following a three-month investigation by Greater Manchester Police.
Five imitation guns were seized by police - a fake M16 machine gun and four fake handguns.
Officers arrested a 32-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy in Halliwell, Bolton, and an 18-year-old woman and a 40-year-old man in Horwich.
Johnny Adair's family and many of his associates were forced to leave Northern Ireland following an internal loyalist feud earlier this year.
Johnny Adair's family fled Northern Ireland after loyalist feud
A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said they hoped the operation would reassure the people of Bolton that it was responding to their concerns.
Adair was arrested and returned to prison in January 2003 after Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy received information he was involved in directing terrorism, drugs, extortion and distributing weapons.