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mob target Feared crime gang 'The Family' are top of garda hit list in latest crackdown

The gang headed by drug dealer Brian Grendon have grown at an unprecedented level over the past five years and are now estimated to be wholesaling 50 kilos of heroin a-month in a business turning over €20 million a-year.

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The gang is headed by drug dealer Brian Grendon

The gang is headed by drug dealer Brian Grendon

The gang is headed by drug dealer Brian Grendon

The mob known as ‘The Family’ have been listed as one of the top targets in the Garda’s fight against organised crime for 2021 as transport issues surrounding Covid-19 and Brexit hammer their supply and money-laundering chains.

The gang headed by drug dealer Brian Grendon have grown at an unprecedented level over the past five years and are now estimated to be wholesaling 50 kilos of heroin a-month in a business turning over €20 million a-year.

But the twin forces of the Garda’s Drug and Organised Crime Bureau and worsening transport problems due to border controls from Brexit and European coronavirus lockdowns are expected to chip away at profits.

The DOCB has enjoyed huge success in dismantling mobs, most notably the Kinahan organised crime group and the Byrne organised crime group and have been working successfully with European and UK counterparts like never before sharing intelligence and partnering up for larger operations.

Grendon has been operating for decades along with his close associate Dee Dee O’Driscoll who the Criminal Assets Bureau described as the ‘leader of a criminal organisation involved in the large-scale distribution of heroin, cocaine and cannabis resin.’

Both have remained at arm’s length from their supply, creating a buffer zone around themselves through fear and intimidation. Officers have discovered how their smack empire has been built by using addicts hooked on heroin to store supplies and often transport it around the country.

A lengthy probe into the workings of The Family has discovered how Grendon has an army of cheap labour targeting many reformed drug users with free cocaine and heroin to get them back hooked on the product. Once in debt, they are then recruited onto his books to work for free.

Greedy Grendon, who does not use his own product, has been peddling smack across the country, becoming the biggest supplier, and has close links with associates of George ‘The Penguin’ Mitchell.

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George 'The Penguin' Mitchell

George 'The Penguin' Mitchell

George 'The Penguin' Mitchell

A network of addicts have been taking the hits when charges are brought in relation to searches ,while gang leaders, including Brian and brother Philip, get richer.

“Their strength has been based on this philosophy of trust. The inner circle is very tight and very loyal and they have been working together for a long time. Over the past 20 years they have built up the business into a monster.

They have taken advantage of the other feuds in Dublin and the demise of the Kinahan Cartel to take over a large chunk of the drug market here,” a source said.

“They use and abuse their own customers making them mind the drugs in their homes and then letting them take the rap if anything goes wrong. It’s a clever tactic but they are in for a major big crackdown in the coming months.”

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Heroin dealer Brian Grendon

Heroin dealer Brian Grendon

Heroin dealer Brian Grendon

Brian Grendon was nabbed in 2001 during a major Garda National Drug Unit surveillance operation handling drugs worth more than €1.9 million, but he has evaded officers ever since.

After his release he was listed as the most significant heroin dealer in the Ballyfermot area, but in the past decade he has become the biggest in the country, and laundering his profits through the second-hand car industry and bank accounts linked to his associates.

The Criminal Assets Bureau and the Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau are now determined to bring his reign to an end and have got an unexpected helping hand from the chaos of Brexit and Covid, which have disrupted transport across all sectors, including in drugs and money-laundering.

While the UK has been used for years as the route into Ireland by The Family, new border checks and increased documentation needed for imports is sure to increase the risk of shipping heroin, while the well-established cash routes out of the country have also become more exposed with less and less travel likely to extend into the summer.

The lockdown in Ireland also means less traffic on the roads and less movement of people, which has a knock-on effect for transportation.

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