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60 litres of hooch, drugs and phones seized in Joy raid

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Mountjoy Prison

Mountjoy Prison

Mountjoy Prison

Sixty litres of home-made alcohol, mobile phones and large quantities of drugs were seized in a raid in Mountjoy Prison yesterday.

It is understood that the hooch was being stockpiled by prisoners ahead of Christmas.

The Prison Service said last night that the search of C wing was undertaken as part of the prison's attempts to crack down on drug smuggling.

The raid began at 7am and ended by midday. The prison's operational support group searched all cells and common areas in the wing.

A phone was found in the cell of one notorious Dublin criminal who is serving a sentence for firearms offences.

He is also suspected of being the mastermind behind the tiger kidnapping of All-Ireland-winning Kilkenny hurler Adrian Ronan and his family, though he was never charged.

Another phone was found in the cell of a 23-year-old who is behind bars in relation to a 2011 carjacking.

Among the prisoners in C Wing is Dubliner Craig White (28), who is serving a life sentence for the murder of Noel Roche in Clontarf in November 2005. However, no contraband was found in his cell.

Inmates make the hooch by mixing water, sugar, fruit and bread in plastic containers, with the illegal booze taking about two weeks to ferment.

heroin

Apart from the booze haul, prison officers seized 14 illegal mobile phones, six SIM cards and 22 phone chargers.

They also recovered 421 tablets, 21 grams of heroin, 19 grams of Skunk cannabis herb and 19 grams of cannabis resin.

The street value of the drugs would be well over €3,000, but in jail they are worth much more.

Sources told the Herald prosecutions are likely, even though no arrests were made yesterday.

The operation was the biggest clampdown on contraband in the prison system since August, when a series of cell searches at high-security Portlaoise Prison yielded 37 illegal mobile phones as well as USB sticks and internet modems.

Sources said information retrieved from the phones and computer equipment seized in Portlaoise will allow gardai to gather intelligence on hundreds of criminals connected to the Real IRA and other dissident factions.

None of the inmates targeted yesterday is involved in dissident republicanism, but sources said information on drug dealing and organised crime will be obtained from the seized phones and SIM cards when gardai examine them.

kfoy@herald.ie


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