By Cormac Looney and Charlie Mallon
Wednesday October 21 2009
A Dublin gangster found with an Uzi submachinegun was about to use it against members of 'Fat' Freddie Thompson 's crime gang.
The 33-year-old armed himself with the weapon after a recent attack on relatives.
The gunman is a major drug supplier on Dublin's northside and had an association with Crumlin based criminals in Thompson's gang, but reportedly fell out with them earlier this year in a row over drug payments.
Detectives said he was on the verge of using the Uzi take out a member of Thompson's enforcers.
Detectives arrested the man at his Donaghmede apartment, seizing the powerful Uzi -- the same high calibre gun used by the garda's Special Branch -- from a car parked outside.
The man is a currently on bail on drugs charges and is a member of a gang that supplies drugs to the Coolock and Donnycarney areas.
According to sources, he had a "loose alliance" with 'Fat' Freddie's crime gang, who operate in the south inner city.
But this friendship is believed to have turned sour leading to threats being issued on both sides, the sources said.
Gardai feared a serious escalation in the dispute and moved on the man yesterday.
Thompson is currently living between Spain and Birmingham -- where he has family.
He fears returning to Ireland in case he is arrested and charged under new gangland laws.
Thompson uses a gang of enforcers to protect his drugs empire while in exile. But how long he can remain in control is questionable.
The Uzi suspect remains in custody today, as does his partner, in her mid 20s. She was arrested in a raid on a second apartment controlled by the man in Donaghmede.
Gardai believe that the man armed himself following a recent attack on relatives, as well as two other incidents over the past five months.
Sources said that the man, maintains a number of addresses on the city's northside and moves between them on a regular basis.
Yesterday's operation took place at 9.30am when armed gardai kicked in the door of the apartment in Donaghmede.
Inside they found 2.5kgs of drug mixing agent. A search of the man's car, parked outside the apartment, yielded the Uzi, ammunition and 10,000 ecstacy tablets, worth €50,000.
The operation is linked to a major ongoing garda sweep, using covert surveillance to target Dublin gangsters.
Chief among these is the tactic -- similar to the TV show The Wire -- of tapping gangster's mobile phones.
The man is being held at Coolock garda station and the woman at Raheny garda station. They are both being held under the Offenses Against the State Act and can be detained until Friday morning.
The Uzi submachinegun, capable of firing up to 600 rounds a minute, is being technically examined.
- Cormac Looney and Charlie Mallon