Monday 19 March 2018

Dublin drug baron has over €40,000 confiscated by the State

Declan Brennan and Fiona Ferguson

A Dublin drug baron who was jailed in 2010 transporting €6.2m worth of heroin in his van has had over €40,000 confiscated by a court.

Michael Byrne (36), of Old Tower, Clondalkin was jailed for 18 years after a jury found him guilty of three counts of possession of 32 kilograms of heroin in the Culmore Road area of Palmerstown on January 15, 2008.

Passing sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in April 2010 Judge Frank O'Donnell described the father of five as a "drug baron" who was "no small fry in the (drugs) industry".

At a confiscation of assets hearing in the same court today Judge Tony Hunt found that the €40,253 seized from his bank account were the proceeds of crime.

Judge Hunt said a suggestion that Byrne, who was a qualified tiller and had a tiling business, had amassed the money from undocumented nixers not declared to Revenue was not backed up by any evidence relating to these jobs.

He said there was also an absence of normal outgoings from the bank account, an income in excess of savings and earnings and evidence of motor vehicles held which pointed to a certain type of life style.

The judge said he had no doubt that the money represented the proceeds of drug trafficking and declared that the sums be confiscated to the Minister for Public Expenditure.

Byrne has 19 previous convictions including assaulting gardai, larceny and handling stolen property.

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