Low level cartel thugs hammered in attempt to dismantle networks
Ireland’s year-long Kinahan-Hutch feud has played havoc with the ability of the cartel’s drug dealing network to ply its trade in the shadows.
Like any other big business, there are multiple layers to the Kinahan Cartel – but Gardaí have been peeling them away as they wage an all-out offensive on the gang.
As Gardaí target high-ranking members of the cartel, criminals down the food chain pop up to assume their duties.
In turn, these low-level thugs are now being hammered in an attempt to dismantle the networks that allow Ireland’s biggest underworld cartel to function.
For every Mr Big, there are dozens of smaller players who ensure that the product makes it to the streets.
Not everyone supplied by or with links to the cartel is a member of the gang or involved in the feud.
Many never even meet the more senior members of the cartel.
Some are just affiliates or part of a loose network of criminals who receive their supplies from the same place.
Gardaí believe that by targeting the low-level criminals they can cause headaches and disrupt the cartel’s ability to operate.
Long before the feud kicked off with the murder of Gary Hutch, Gardaí had already been involved in Operation Domino, targeting lower level criminals in a bid to make life more difficult for those higher up the chain of evil.
The events of recent months have now put even more pressure on the lower levels.
And things will get worse as justice minister Frances Fitzgerald has announced plans to strengthen the powers of seizure of CAB to target lower amounts of cash. Under her proposals, Gardaí will now be able to seize as small as sum as €1,000 if they suspect it is the proceeds of crime – down from the current threshold of €6,500.
While they focus their firepower on wiping out their upstart rivals, it is a headache the Kinahans do not need.
Gardaí have actively targeted suspected lower-level dealers in a series of raids in recent weeks.
As well as carrying out seizures of drugs and cash, officers from CAB have been seizing documentation and property from second and third tier criminals.
Clayton McMahon (23), originally from Crumlin, was arrested during a series of raids last month targeting the lower levels of Ireland’s criminal ranks.
Gardaí seized a number of items during the raids, including a €15,000 Rolex watch from McMahon, as well as vehicles including an Audi A4. Our pictures show McMahon showing off his watch while posing with unwitting UFC star Conor McGregor.
McMahon has dozens of convictions for offences, including assault and criminal damage.
Other people targeted in those raids are suspected of supplying a network of street dealers in the south inner city.
A 30-year-old Crumlin man who is a close associate of Regency shooting victim Sean McGovern is also being targeted by Gardaí. The Crumlin man is also closely associated with another cartel member who was arrested by Gardaí over the summer as part of an operation which officers believe prevented another feud murder.
Jonathan Murray (27), from Crumlin, is also a target for Gardaí. Murray has dozens of convictions for offences, including drug dealing and assault.
Murray is an associate of Ian ‘Mad Dog’ Maloney, who is serving a 12-year sentence for a €1.2m jewellery heist and had been involved in a feud with associates of Ian Kenny, who was shot dead in Crumlin in 2007.
Murray’s brother Andrew (33), is a close associate of Christopher ‘Git’ Russell and Gardaí previously seized cash and property from him.
Jonathan and Andrew Murray
Associates of Greg Lynch have been targeted as part of the offensive, including a 32-year-old from Marrowbone Lane in Dublin 8.
Paul Gray, a brother-in-law of Ritchie Thompson, is also part of the lower level of criminals. He has links to a gang who are based near the St Teresa’s Gardens flats complex which is being regenerated at present.
Another man being targeted s a 28-year-old from the Coombe area who has links to several people suspected of involvement in the murder of ‘Champagne’ Johnny Carroll, who was shot dead in the Coombe in 2009.