herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Drug probe garda in rehab

COKE: Suspect also being investigated over alleged links to Tiger kidnap

THE garda suspended from the force for being in possession of cocaine has checked himself into rehab.

The officer was admitted to a residential treatment centre for substance abuse last week following his arrest and suspension from the force.

The garda was caught with cocaine and is now also being investigated for his alleged links to a tiger kidnap gang in Lucan.

More gardai are due to be interviewed as part of the investigation as the case broadens, the Herald understands.

As a result of the Internal Affairs Investigation up to 22 cases in which the rogue garda was a prosecuting officer have been placed in jeopardy.

A number of the drugs prosecutions which are now likely to be dropped are against dealers linked to 'Fat' Freddie Thompson and his rivals in the south city.

The officer, who is now suspended, was arrested last week after he was caught buying cocaine from a street dealer.

The garda himself charged several street dealers over the past six months.

The majority are active in the Crumlin-Drimnagh area, and are linked to two feuding crime gangs. One is led by notorious gang boss Thompson, the other by a major criminal currently serving a prison sentence.

The Herald understands that most of the arrests involve drug possession for minor amounts of heroin, cocaine and cannabis, up to larger amounts of between €1,000 and €2,000, which would also involve an intent to supply charge.

The officer is one of two gardai that have been suspended from the force following an investigation into an alleged garda cocaine ring.

The garda, who is in his 20s, was caught with 10 grams of cocaine last Monday afternoon after a belated Christmas party at his station in Dublin's G Division. A source told the Herald that the high level of the garda's drug busts had caused raised eyebrows among his superiors.

"Considering he was a uniformed member , the number of drug busts is unusually high," the source said.

"Most gardai in his position would be doing very well to get 20 in a year if they are not involved in a specialised drug unit."

Senior officers are now reviewing all the cases involving the garda and are taking legal advice on whether any of the cases should be dropped. The DPP is likely to be consulted on cases he was involved in.

As a prosecuting garda, he will be required to give evidence but his testimony is likely to be undermined by the fact that he was suspended on suspicion of being involved with cocaine.

Gardai are believed to have initially become suspicious about the officer after the garda's name was mentioned by a woman following a non-fatal shooting in west Dublin last year.

She told detectives in an informal interview that her ex was a garda and was involved with gangs.

The information was then passed onto the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation who immediately mounted a surveillance operation.

The Herald has also learned that the officer found with the cocaine is suspected of dealing drugs since before he joined the force. The garda is believed to have used special code words to hide the identities of his suppliers. His mobile phone and bank records are also being scrutinised by gardai to determine whether the officer has criminal links.

hnews@herald.ie

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