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CAB seizes €66k, Audi and encrypted phones in raid on 'lone ranger' drug dealer

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Money seized in the raids

Money seized in the raids

Money seized in the raids

A Tallaght drug dealer who is suspected of acting as a "lone ranger" but who has links to multiple criminal gangs in the capital was the latest target of raids by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

The 36-year-old's home was raided, as was a motor dealership in the Dublin 10 area that is believed to be managed by a man with links to the Hutch gang.

The primary target of the operation was previously given a suspended jail sentence for controlling a cannabis grow house in the Tallaght area.

Considered one of the "most significant drug facilitators" in the capital, he has a number of previous convictions but none for violent offences.

"This individual was targeted as a result of information gathered by profilers in the Tallaght area," a senior source said last night.

"His home was raided yesterday and encrypted phones were seized.

"He is an unusual criminal in the sense that he seems to be aligned to every gang and yet none. It is fair to say that he is a lone ranger of sorts.

"He was involved with the Brian Rattigan gang for a long time, but had a falling out with them."

The man later got involved with 'The Family' gang, but according to the source "he also seems to have fallen out with them, which led to an active threat against his life".

"But he continues to operate on a very high level, yet under the radar," the source added.

"Whatever falling out he has with these gangs, who are undoubtedly some of the biggest drugs traffickers in the State, he always manages to heal."

A total of €66,865 in cash was also seized along with a 161-registered Audi Q7, which the suspect has been driving.

"This morning's search operation is a significant development in an ongoing investigation into cash and other assets accumulated by a local organised crime group from the sale and supply of controlled drugs," a garda spokeswoman said last night.

Armed

The CAB was backed up by armed detectives as well as the dog unit for the raids at the two locations.

"This search operation is just one example of the Criminal Assets Bureau working with local gardai to target the assets of persons involved in drug- dealing in the local community," the spokeswoman added.

The target of the operation is a family man who is deeply embroiled in the drugs trade, according to sources, but has never been suspected of involvement in murder.

Among his associates are a ruthless Clondalkin gang with links to the Kinahan cartel.

This gang was involved in a bitter local feud with James 'Nellie' Walsh and his associates, which claimed four lives before tensions eased at the start of last year.

In September 2017, two 'blood brothers', Darragh Nugent (36) and John Gibson (27), were shot dead a week apart as part of the feud.

The leader of the mob is a vicious crack cocaine dealer, but he was not arrested as part of the probe.

Aged in his early 30s, he previously served a lengthy jail sentence after being caught with nearly €50,000 worth of crack in a west Dublin apartment.