By Cormac Looney
Thursday September 24 2009
THIS is the chief suspect behind a €400,000 cannabis haul in north Dublin which was intercepted by gardai.
The man, in his 30s and from Crumlin, is believed to have organised the shipment, which was seized on September 1 by officers from the Organised Crime Unit.
Five men, including a trainee accountant, were arrested but the chief organiser was not among them. However, detectives believe he may have been in the area at the time.
The man is known to local gardai in the south city as a member of the drug gang led by exiled criminal Freddie Thompson, who is currently living in Spain.
He has a number of previous convictions for violent crime and is suspected of involvement in an ongoing campaign of intimidation using pipe bombs in the Crumlin and Drimnagh areas of the city.
Despite his suspected involvement in the haul, it is unlikely the man will face charges, given that he was not arrested with the drugs.
Gardai believe that the man paid five young men to take delivery of the drugs at Airside Retail Park in Swords.
One of these is a criminal from Cabra who is well-known to gardai on the city's northside. But the other four are all minor criminals or have no record at all.
All five were detained and questioned following the raid, but were later released pending further inquiries.
The men caught with the drugs are likely to face charges in relation to the seizure, which gardai believe was being imported to be sent to the recent Electric Picnic festival.
Detectives believe that the Crumlin man was waiting for the drugs to be moved from one van to another before taking possession of them and escorting them to an address in west Dublin for cutting and further delivery to street dealers.
The Thompson gang is believed to have lost around €40,000 in up-front cash as a result of the seizure.
The five men were arrested b a Ford Mondeo car parked close to two Ford Transit vans.
The man behind the intercepted drug deal operates as a street dealer and general fixer for the gang, along with two of his relatives.
The three are all closely associated with Freddie Thompson -- known as Fat Freddie -- and are targets for gardai in Crumlin, Sundrive Road, Kilmainham and Kevin Street.
- Cormac Looney