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Saturday 19 August 2017

Gangster 'going mad' after his illicit phone is seized in prison raid

Gangster Cornelius Price
Gangster Cornelius Price

A brutal gangster, whose mob is suspected of three unsolved murders, could be facing more jail time after he was caught with a mobile phone in his cell.

Cornelius Price (35) was holding the device when prison officers stormed the cell last Sunday night. The phone and a charger were seized from the psychopathic thug.

Jail sources say Price has not yet been disciplined in relation to the case but that is expected to happen in the coming days.

The case is expected to be referred to gardai.

"It should be no surprise that the brute was caught with a phone in jail. It is well known that he has been trying to reach out to the gang from behind bars," a source said.

"He is going mad now that he has been caught with the phone. He will probably blame someone for ratting on him."

Price was jailed for three years in February after being convicted of reckless endangerment of a garda at Balbriggan Garda Station more than three years ago following a trial at Dublin Circuit Court.

While not a suspect himself for any of the three murders, the gang is suspected of the killing of Benny Whitehouse (36), who was shot dead in September 2014.

Killing

In May 2015, Price was arrested and later released without charge by gardai investigating the Whitehouse murder.

The gang suspected of killing Whitehouse is also believed to be behind the suspected murders of Tallaght man Willie Maughan (34) and his partner Anna Varslavane (21), who were last seen near Price's house in the Gormanston area of Co Meath on the afternoon of Tuesday April 14, 2015.

One theory being investigated is that the couple were murdered because they were trying to break links with the gang, who they had been associated with in the months before their disappearance.

The mob is also suspected of a sickening incident last August, when the grave of Willie Maughan's brother, Michael Maughan, was dug up at Bohernabreena Cemetery in Tallaght. Price, however, was in jail at the time.

Price has never been arrested in connection with the suspected double murder of the couple, who are thought to have been shot dead and their bodies burned in a bonfire.

His compound in Gormanston has been the subject of major garda surveillance operations and has also been raided on a number of occasions, including last week.

Last year, Price was cleared of charges of attacking two close associates of Benny Whitehouse in an incident with a Stanley knife at a house in Balbriggan.

In November 2015, he was cleared of reckless endangerment charges in relation to a feud-related incident at a Balbriggan school two years earlier.

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