herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

AK-47 and ammo found in raid linked to cartel

Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch
Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch

Gardai investigating the capital's deadly gangland feud have seized an AK-47 assault rifle and recovered more than 100 rounds of ammunition in a major raid.

The bust happened at the Alfie Byrne flats complex on Grenville Street in Dublin's north-inner city on Wednesday night after gardai had received an anonymous phone call.

A suspect described as a "vulnerable alcoholic" aged in his 50s remained in custody at Mountjoy Garda Station last night in relation to the seizure.

Gardai have not yet established which faction the deadly weapon belonged to but senior sources say that "all the indications" are that it was controlled by the Kinahan cartel.

Ballistic testing that was carried out yesterday also established that the bullets recovered by gardai were for a different type of weapon than that which was seized.

The seizure operation was led by Chief Superintendent Pat Leahy, whose team have been responsible for keeping a lid on the vicious bloodshed that has claimed 10 lives since the murder of Gary Hutch.

The male suspect in custody is not known to gardai for involvement in gangland crime and it is suspected that is why he was used.

"This is typical of what this crime organisation are doing," a senior source said last night. "They are preying on people who are vulnerable and getting them to store and move drugs and weapons for them."

Evidence

It is not known if gardai will be able to get enough evidence to charge the suspect, who is only known to officers in relation to public order offences.

The seizure happened in an area of the capital where many associates of the Hutch faction reside.

Wednesday night's bust is just the latest success by gardai investigating the deadly feud.

Last week, gardai foiled a bloodbath after seizing a "significant" arsenal of weapons from the Kinahan cartel after officers from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau found the stash in a vehicle in Cabra.

One line in the investigation is that the weapons were to be used in a north-inner city "pub massacre" against members of the Hutch mob including a close business partner of on-the-run target Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch.

The bust happened just days after well-known boxer Anthony Fitzgerald (30), a relative of the Hutch clan, was slashed in the face on November 2.

Fitzgerald previously boxed with the Kinahan-linked MGM gym but has no involvement in crime and is not involved in the feud.

Tensions remain high across the capital, with armed gardai in place at the Mater Hospital on Wednesday when The Monk's innocent brother John Hutch Snr was treated for a suspected broken arm.

In early September, he survived an assassination attempt when shots were fired at his home.

John Hutch's son, Jonathan survived a botched hit in Spain two weeks earlier.

He told Spanish police he was the intended target of a gunman who mistakenly shot dead innocent dad-of-three Trevor O'Neill on August 17 near Santa Ponsa.

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