Female pal of gang boss is caught in heroin sting
A CLOSE female associate of gang boss Paschal Kelly has been busted by gardai with €150,000 worth of heroin in a raid in west Dublin.
The woman, in her early 50s, was still being detained at Clondalkin Garda Station last night after drugs officers stormed a house in Ballyfermot.
Sources say that the woman has "very close connections" to Kelly, who is believed to be hiding out in Spain where he is on the run from gardai, the PSNI and rival gangsters.
Wednesday night's raid in the Kylemore area happened after a detailed surveillance operation by detectives from the Clondalkin garda drugs unit.
Sources say that another target for gardai is a 24-year-old local man who is well-known to the arrested woman and has a number of previous convictions for offences including assault.
He was not arrested as part of the operation, but like the older woman is said to have close connections to Kelly, the 49-year-old gangster who is considered one the most dangerous criminals in the State.
Kelly is a senior member of the gang that gardai believe killed Real IRA chief Alan Ryan on September 3, 2012, and is believed to be under death threat from the IRA.
Close associates of the gangster were involved in a separate feud in the Edenmore area of Dublin's northside earlier this year.
That dispute led to a young man being viciously attacked and officially warned by gardai about an active threat on his life.
In February, Kelly's Co Cavan home was seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).
He bought the bungalow in 2004 for €190,000 but it is now estimated to worth between €250,000 and €275,000.
Earlier this year, Kelly was described by an officer from the bureau in the High Court as playing a leading role in an organised criminal gang.
Kelly was not in the High Court to hear that he must also forfeit a 4x4 vehicle, €11,000 from the sale of another car, and around €3,000 in cash seized from the house, Hillview, Cormeen, Castlerahan, Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan.
Kelly was described in court as having links to a tiger kidnapping gang.
The Herald previously revealed that he has been hiding out in rural Spain after getting bail in Northern Ireland last October where he was facing money laundering charges.
Sources say that he ripped off electronic tags that had been placed on him and used a disguise to get out of the country.
The High Court heard evidence from CAB that Kelly had 42 previous convictions, including robbing a travel agents, a crime for which he received ten years imprisonment.
He had links with criminal associates and there was evidence he plays a "leading role in an organised criminal gang", the judge said.
The court also heard Kelly and his associates had access to a large number of vehicles which he drove using a general car dealer's garage insurance policy, even though he has no record of involvement in the motor trade.