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Jailhouse knock Kinahan gunman Trevor Byrne moved from Mountjoy Prison after drug smuggling plot exposed

"No drugs move within Mountjoy without the cartel's say-so and authorities believed the kitchen runs were being co-ordinated by the cartel inmates."

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Trevor Byrne

Trevor Byrne

Trevor Byrne

A Kinahan cartel gunman - previously arrested over the murder of Gerry 'the Monk' Hutch's brother - is one of nine inmates to have been booted out of Mountjoy Prison after being linked to a plot to smuggle drugs into the jail.

Trevor Byrne, a close associate of Finglas based dealer 'Mr Flashy', was removed from Mountjoy and taken under escort to top security Portlaoise Prison.

Two other Kinahan associates were also removed from the jail's D-wing for what was described as "operational reasons."

At the same time, 12 inmates in the 'Progression Unit' who largely worked in the kitchen and bakery, long seen as the prison's weak link in the battle to keep drugs out of the jail, were also moved.

Six of these inmates were moved to Wheatfield Prison and six others to lock-down on separate wings of Mountjoy.

A source confirmed to the Sunday World: "The 12 inmates removed from the Progression Unit were suspected of either taking drugs or smuggling the drugs, brought in through the bakery and kitchen, into the jail proper.

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Officers are bidding to stop the flow of drugs into prisons

Officers are bidding to stop the flow of drugs into prisons

Officers are bidding to stop the flow of drugs into prisons

"Trevor Byrne would be one of the most senior cartel men in Mountjoy.

"No drugs move within Mountjoy without the cartel's say-so and authorities believed the kitchen runs were being co-ordinated by the cartel inmates."

The cartel's move to reopen supply lines comes just four months after an intelligence-led search on a kitchen delivery truck to the Dublin prison resulted in the discovery of two kilos of cocaine, an assortment of drugs, alcohol and 30 mobile phones and sim cards hidden in a delivery pallet.

Although garda estimates put the value of the drugs seized in November in the region of €145,000, sources say the value inside would likely have been multiples of this figure.

In the wake of the discovery of that shipment, which had been concealed in boxes of sugar, orders were issued to prisons across the country that all delivery trucks were to be subject to intensive searches on arrival.

Intensive surveillance measures were also put in place to guard against the kitchen delivery route being utilised in Mountjoy going forward.

This week, the Mountjoy clear-out occurred as Trevor Byrne's close criminal associate and notorious drug-dealer 'Mr Flashy' was arrested, alongside seven others, at a Temple Bar apartment in which €60,000 worth of cocaine was seized.

Although all eight men arrested in the 2am raid last Monday have since been released, gardai say charges will arise from the incident.

Trevor Byrne is currently serving a nine-year sentence for possession of a loaded firearm, ammunition and more than €3,000 in cash at a house in Woodford Grove, Clondalkin, on November 15, 2019.

Byrne, of Cappagh Road, Finglas, initially denied the charges but he changed his plea to guilty on all the charges two weeks into his trial before the Special Criminal Court.

Kinahan associate Byrne was previously arrested by detectives investigating the feud murder of Edward 'Neddie' Hutch.

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Eddie Hutch

Eddie Hutch

Eddie Hutch

The 58-year-old, who was the older brother of The Monk, was shot dead outside his home in Poplar Row, Ballybough, on February 8, 2016.

His murder was carried out three days after the Regency Hotel shooting in which Kinahan associate David Byrne was killed, and was seen as direct retaliation.

Byrne was arrested in May 2016 by gardai investigating Mr Hutch's murder.

He was questioned over the course of several days at Mountjoy Garda Station before being released without charge.

He later left the country.

Gardai believe he was living in the UK before his return to Ireland shortly before his arrest in 2019.

Garda intelligence has linked Byrne to associates of the Kinahan cartel based in Dublin for several years.

Byrne's arrest in November 2019 occurred during an armed garda operation as part of an investigation into organised crime.

He was found in a back garden cabin of the Clondalkin property, where a loaded handgun had been stashed.

Just over €3,000 was found in his pocket.

His trial had heard how the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) raided the house at around 11.30pm and found Byrne in a cabin out the back where he was sitting on a couch with another male.

A detective garda from the ERU told John Byrne, prosecuting, that he pointed his weapon at Byrne.

The officer said he shouted "Armed gardai, armed police" before ordering Byrne to the ground as other officers dealt with the second male.

"There was no response at all," the officer said, adding that Byrne "just sat looking at me".

The witness said that after two more warnings and no reaction, he holstered his weapon, pulled Byrne from the couch and put him on the ground.

When Byrne was taken to Clondalkin Garda Station, he refused to engage and exercised his right to silence when interviewed.

A search of the cabin later revealed a gun underneath the couch. There were five bullets in the magazine and one in the chamber.

More ammunition was found, and Det Sgt Tom Anderson said he searched Byrne before placing him in a garda car and found €3,050 in his pocket.

The State was also expected to bring evidence that a DNA profile on the gun matched Byrne's DNA, and a pair of gloves, a holdall and a balaclava found in the cabin also had DNA matching Byrne's.

Sentencing Byrne in December 2020, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said 10 years was an appropriate pre-mitigation headline sentence, but gave a 10 per cent discount for the guilty plea.

In 2005, Byrne was jailed for eight years over an armed raid during which he held 10 gardai at gunpoint and hijacked a patrol car during an off-licence robbery.

Gardai told that trial Byrne was carrying a loaded sawn-off shotgun when he entered a Santry off-licence in 2004.

As he and two accomplices tried to flee, gardai arrived and used patrol cars to block their getaway car.

Byrne pointed the shotgun at gardai and climbed into an unmarked patrol car to try to escape.

Gardai blocked the road and Byrne fled to a nearby taxi rank, where he held the gun to a driver's head.

Officers grabbed the keys from the ignition and apprehended him.

Sources say it is likely Byrne will remain in custody amid high security in Portlaoise Prison for the foreseeable future.

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