'King Scum' out of jail and in line for HSE housing
Published 31/01/2011 | 05:00
ONE of Ireland's most notorious drug dealers will be rehoused by the State after 14 years behind bars.
Tony Felloni -- who got his own wife and children hooked on heroin -- was released from Mountjoy Jail on Saturday afternoon.
However, thanks to a successful court case brought on behalf of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) he was stripped of all his assets last year.
Estranged from his wife, 68-year-old Felloni -- who was nicknamed 'King Scum' -- is homeless and will be rehoused by the HSE as is standard practice. He would also be entitled to the €219 state pension, free travel, and a medical card to pay for his HIV medication.
A number of his children also contracted HIV from the drugs their father introduced them to, while five of his children have spent time in jail. His eighth child died just three days after it was born because of wife's heroin addiction.
Felloni, from Lower Dominick St, Dublin, was blamed for escalating the capital's serious heroin problem in the 1980s. He was considered by the garda to be a key dealer for two decades but they no longer believe him to be a threat in terms of organised crime.
They believe he has been locked up for "too long" to be become a major player once again and also because he became institutionalised after spending so long behind bars.
He was one of the first major criminals to be targeted by CAB after its inception.
He fought a 14-year battle to try and stop the agency from seizing the proceeds of crime but last year they seized almost €500,000 from the career criminal, who has been forced to claim State benefits, and his family.
The case involved the use of "ordinary" powers to seize assets under the Criminal Justice Act rather than the Proceeds of Crime Act, which was introduced after the setting up of the CAB.
The case took so long because Felloni, his son Luigi, and daughter Regina challenged it and then refused to co-operate when the High Court granted orders to CAB against them. They had also hidden cash in the Republic, the North and England.
Felloni was released from a low-security unit in Mountjoy on Saturday after being moved there from Portlaoise Prison before Christmas.
The father-of-eight was jailed for 20 years in 1996, a sentence that made legal history at the time due to its severity.
Felloni appealed the length of the sentence but this was rejected. He was released early thanks to good behaviour.
He had 26 previous convictions, dating from 1959, including a 10-year sentence imposed in 1986 for drug trafficking.