CAB seize €67k Range Rover in latest swoop on 'Family' drugs gang
The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has seized a €67,000 Range Rover in its latest operation against the west Dublin drugs mob known as 'The Family.'
Sources told the Herald the primary target of yesterday afternoon's operation was convicted heroin dealer Brian Grendon (42), whose gang is regarded as one of the most prolific drug networks in the country.
The black Range Rover was seized on St Loman's Road, in Clondalkin, shortly after lunchtime for VRT offences.
It is the latest in a series of raids against 'The Family' gang by the CAB, which has targeted the heroin-trafficking mob and its associates.
Brian Grendon, along with his older brother Philip (44) are believed to be two of the main leaders of the mob, whose strongholds are in the Clondalkin and Ballyfermot areas.
Brian was jailed for six years in December 2002, for the possession of €1.9m of heroin in a Palmerstown pub, in November 2001.
During his case, a senior detective gave evidence the gang he was involved with "had in the past used fatal shootings of anyone who compromised their business".
Philip is due to be released from a Spanish jail this year after he was caught in a bizarre bust in August 2014.
Spanish police arrested him after he threw one of two suitcases containing €3.8m of cocaine from a Valencia hotel window in a paranoid fit.
It is alleged Grendon also removed ceiling tiles in his room, along with an air vent, in an apparent attempt to hide the stash.
In 2014 alone, Ballyfermot-based officers were involved in the seizure of more than €1m worth of drugs from a gang thought to be one of the longest-established in the country.
However, since then they have become major targets for both the CAB and the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) as their operations continued to grow.
"They actually have taken advantage of all the garda heat on the Kinahan cartel and Hutch mob since their feud began in 2015 and 'The Family' gang's operation have grown every year since," a source said.
"They have been dealing directly with Turkish suppliers in the UK for decades but they now are also involved with high-profile people in Ireland, including a male Dublin socialite who was arrested last week in a major drugs operation.
"They are running a multimillion-euro drugs operation and yesterday's CAB seizure has been just one of many from Grendon and his associates," the source added.
As a result of one of the bigger garda probes against 'The Family', a runner for the gang was jailed for five years in March 2016, after he was caught with more than €3m of drugs, three sub-machine guns, two pistols and ammunition in Ballyfermot.
Gardai suspect that for years the gang had been importing millions of euro of drugs every month into the capital in second-hand cars imported from England.
Sources said the heroin, cocaine and firearms are distributed from a west Dublin car dealership to middle-ranking dealers who sell the product across the capital.
The gang's detailed drugs operation is believed to have been running for more than two decades and has involved 'The Family' sourcing its 'product' in Liverpool and Manchester.
Seizures against the mob this year have included a March raid when almost €300,000 of heroin and cocaine was seized by the DOCB.
In June of last year, the CAB was involved in raids in which eight Range Rovers and two BMWs with a total value of €700,000 were seized.