| 11.6°C Dublin

Cocaine bust Drug trafficker Peter 'Fatso' Mitchell arrested while using a bogus identity

Mitchell used a false name while living in a middle-class address in the Yorkshire area having fled Ireland after the murder of Veronica Guerin

Close

Peter 'Fatso' Mitchell has a long history of importing drugs. Photo: Wales Police

Peter 'Fatso' Mitchell has a long history of importing drugs. Photo: Wales Police

Peter 'Fatso' Mitchell has a long history of importing drugs. Photo: Wales Police

NEWLY-caged drug trafficker Peter 'Fatso' Mitchell used a 'busted' former alias to hide from rival criminals while lying low in the UK.

Sources have confirmed to the Sunday World that Mitchell used the alias 'Anthony Swanson' while living out of a middle-class address on Pollard Lane, Bradford in Yorkshire.

This was the same alias used by the former Gilligan gang member when he fled Ireland following the murder of Veronica Guerin.

According to sources, Mitchell also used the same bogus date of birth used previously - May 14, 1960 - for his 'Swanson' identity.

The Sunday World can also reveal today that the 52-year-old Dubliner has already had three months knocked off the 10-year-sentence handed down in Wales for conspiracy to supply cocaine last week.

Mitchell and his co-conspirators in a €2 million cocaine importation case were called back before Swansea Crown Court on Tuesday where their sentences were reviewed under what is known in Wales as the 'slip-rule.'

A source said the 'slip rule' gives the judiciary a chance to call back defendants after sentencing if any issues arise concerning their original terms.

"The cases of all four men jailed in connection with the conspiracy to import cocaine charges were called back for review under the slip rule," a source confirmed to this newspaper.

"In each of the four cases, including that of Peter Mitchell, a reduction of three months was applied."

The source confirmed that Mitchell had been using the alias 'Anthony Swanson' while living in the UK.

During his time living in Bradford, Mitchell had not amassed any convictions under either his own name or the name 'Swanson.'

Although Mitchell's address was given as 'No Fixed Abode' during last week's sentencing hearing, the Sunday World has learned that an address on Pollard Lane, Bradford was associated with his Anthony Swanson identity.

Pollard Lane is a middle-class area in the city where houses sold for an average of €277,500 last year.

Mitchell was first discovered to have used the 'Anthony Swanson' identity while working as a drug trafficker in the Netherlands in the mid-2000s.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Close

Peter Mitchell

Peter Mitchell

Peter Mitchell

In November 2004 he was arrested along with his cousin, Paddy Mitchell, as they were organising a shipment of drugs and guns which were destined for Ireland.

The pair were nabbed with 10 kilos of cocaine, three kilos of heroin and large quantity of ammunition when cops swooped on an Amsterdam apartment.

Court records from the time show the two thugs got a 20-month sentence - but it took the Dutch authorities more than a year to establish Mitchell's true identity as he had been using the name Anthony Swanson at the time.

Authorities in the UK had no such trouble in identifying Mitchell when on July 7, 2020, he was stopped while driving from Bradford to south Wales with 3kgs of cocaine - valued at in excess of €130,000 - hidden in nappies in the back seat.

South Wales police had been tracking Mitchell as part of an investigation into the sale and supply of cocaine in which he and two Swansea-based associates were suspected of trafficking a total of €2.1 million worth of the drug into Swansea.

The operation came to light after law enforcement agencies got access to a wealth of messages on the previously secure EncroChat phone network.

Mitchell had been using the handle 'Gorilla Hawk' to communicate with two Swansea-based dealers, Nathan Webber (28) and James Gallagher (36), who each had their own customer base and "up-stream" suppliers.

Analysis of the communications showed regular contact between Webber, Gallagher and Mitchell as they discussed drugs purchases and prices per kilo, along with delivery details, including to addresses in Clydach, Morriston and Port Talbot.

Close

The haul of cocaine found in nappies in Mitchell's vehicle

The haul of cocaine found in nappies in Mitchell's vehicle

The haul of cocaine found in nappies in Mitchell's vehicle

One of the messages referred to dealers in Colombia who had 100kg of coke "ready to go".

The court heard that some of the packages of cocaine shipped to Swansea were stamped with the 'Avengers' superhero logo as a way of identifying them.

As the drugs flowed into Swansea during the conspiracy, hundreds of thousands of pounds in payments went the other way.

At the sentencing hearing, prosecutor Ieuan Rees said police investigations linked Mitchell with 7kg of cocaine supplied to one of the gang, for which he was paid at least €305,000.

Mr Rees told Swansea Crown Court the conspiracy involved the supply of "wholesale quantities" of cocaine to south Wales.

The court heard that between March and July 2020 Webber and Gallagher sourced an estimated 42kg of cocaine from their English-based suppliers, worth up to €2.1 million.

On a number of occasions, a TM Removals and Logistics van was used to make runs from Liverpool to Swansea and back.

This van was owned and driven by Liverpudlian Terrence Mills.

Close

Terrence Mills was jailed

Terrence Mills was jailed

Terrence Mills was jailed

The court heard that in EncroChat conversations - which 61-year-old Mills was not party to - there was talk about having furniture in the the van which would "look good" if anyone were to open the doors.

Mill's van was put under surveillance, and on June 8 he was arrested driving on the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road near Hirwaun as he drove to Liverpool from Swansea.

In the van was a black rucksack containing €183,000. Fingerprints on the bag were found to belong to Webber.

On July 7, Mitchell was arrested when his vehicle was stopped on the M4 motorway near Bridgend.

Webber and Gallagher were themselves arrested shortly afterwards, and in Webber's house officers found €30,000 in cash and €3,600 worth of silver bullion, while a search of Gallagher's house uncovered a suitcase in the attic containing €120,000.

Webber, Gallagher, and Mitchell were each sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Following this week's sentence review in Swansea, those sentences now stand at nine years and nine months.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.

Privacy