Gardai arrest 29 suspects after infiltrating former gang of 'Fat' Freddie Thompson
GARDAI have swooped on 29 drugs suspects after a major 5-month sting operation.
Undercover officers infiltrated the gang once led by mob boss ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson (pictured) and spent five months living alongside them.
Covert gardai purchased large quantities of drugs, including heroin and crack cocaine, as part of ‘Operation Trident’ which led to the arrest of the 29 suspects this week.
Detectives from the Garda National Drugs Unit backed up by heavily armed members of the ERU swooped on the suspects in the Crumlin area in the last 48 hours.
All are expected to appear in court over the coming months.
A senior source explained: “Gardai have traditionally been involved in buying drugs at street level, but this operation targeted criminals who were much higher up the food chain.”
It has emerged that in a series of stings, the undercover gardai purchased “significant quantities” of drugs after they gained the trust of the dealers.
“This was a massive operation in terms of the fact that some gardai had actually moved into houses in the locality of where these gangs are operating so that they could observe exactly what was going on,” the source explained.
“Some of those who were arrested have been caught selling sizeable amounts of heroin and crack cocaine to undercover gardai.
The criminals ended up trusting the undercover lads so much that they even held meetings with them where they revealed their drug dealing strategies.
“This is one of the first times that such a detailed undercover operation has happened in Ireland,” the source added.
The major development comes as gardai have expressed major concern that a Drimnagh criminal, aged in his 20s, has returned to the capital from Spain's Costa-Del-Crime “looking super tanned and bulked up” according to sources.
“We have concerns that this man's presence back in the city will lead to an increase in tensions,” said a source.
“There is often trouble when he is around,” a source pointed out.
The criminal – who was not arrested in this week's operation – is an associate of Philip Griffiths (32) of Rafters Road, Drimnagh, who was busted with a huge drugs haul in the Holiday Inn Hotel at Pearse Street by gardai back in March, 2000 – the seizure which ultimately started the bitter Crumlin/Drimnagh gang war.
The age profiles of the criminals arrested in a series of co-ordinated raids this week range from teenagers to those aged in their 50s.
The raids happened amid speculation that Fat Freddie Thompson is back in Ireland with sources revealing that one of his female relatives “has been very ill in recent weeks”.