Dublin thug banged up over firearm after fleeing to Spain
A DUBLIN criminal who was extradited back to Ireland from Spain after going on the run, has been jailed for four years for weapons possession.
Jeff Melvin (35), originally from Hillcrest in Lucan, pleaded guilty to possession of the .32mm pistol in Kildare in Naas Circuit Court on Friday.
The court heard how he had been extradited on European Arrest Warrant last October after living a life on the run since 2012.
It was revealed he had spent time in Spain and Australia while on the run and had worked in a tyre business before settling down with a woman who he had a child with and now plans to marry.
His lawyer said the break-up of a previous relationship “impacted badly” on his “immature” client and led to him making “a number of bad decisions” in his life.
Detective Garda Diarmuid McGuire said that Gardaí placed Melvin under surveillance in August 2011 after receiving confidential intelligence about him.
He was driving a BMW and was spotted near Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare, before driving toward Naas where he met with a man in a Toyota Avensis They later drove to a wooded area and Melvin walked away from his vehicle before he was observed walking towards a tree and crouching down.
He then walked back and leaned in to the passenger window of the Avensis.
The two cars drove off and Gardaí stopped both vehicles.
The driver of the Avensis was spotted throwing items outside his window – it transpired to be the firearm, which had been placed in a sock, a silencer, magazine and ammunition.
Gardaí found €2,130 in cash in Melvin’s car along with a mobile phone and SIM card.
DNA later linked Melvin to the firearm and phone evidence linked the men to a firearm deal.
The court heard a file had been sent the DPP on the matter, but Melvin fled the country while out on bail for another offence.
Melvin had 31 previous convictions for offences including drug dealing, public order, theft and fraud and traffic offences, the court was told.
Melvin’s barrister said the Lucan man came from a respectable family and had a steady work record from 1999 to around 2009, but made bad decisions after a relationship broke up.
“He comes from an extremely respectable background and his parents, who are naturally very upset, are in court today.
He’s very upset by the shame and humiliation he’s caused them, but they are supporting him strongly. No parent wants their child to suffer.”
The barrister said Melvin was qualified as a HGV mechanic and had worked for a number of years.
“He was in a long-term relationship which broke up after which he had panic attacks and needed counselling.
He was an immature person. He had life difficulties and didn’t react well.
He’s now in a stable relationship and has become a father for the first time.”
He also told how Melvin is doing a number of certificates in prison, where he works as a cleaner.
Judge Michael O’Shea said while he took a number of mitigating factors into account, including Melvin’s guilty plea, he said was also in possession of “a serious and dangerous firearm”.
He sentenced him to six years in prison with two suspended.
The sentence was backdated to September last year, when Melvin was arrested in Spain.
The court also directed that the cash found in Melvin’s car be forfeited to the State after no objection was raised by the defence.