A former leading member of John Gilligan’s crime gang has been jailed for 10 years in Wales for cocaine trafficking.
Peter 'Fatso' Mitchell (51) was a key figure in Gilligan’s gang, which was responsible for the murder of Sunday Independent journalist Veronica
Guerin in 1996. He fled Ireland following her murder.
After leaving the country, Mitchell relocated to the Costa Del Sol where he continued to be involved in international drug trafficking.
He established himself as a major drug supplier operating out of a luxury villa in Puerto Banús.
Mitchell was arrested as part of an investigation into a UK drug gang.
Mitchell, with an address in Bradford, was part of a drug gang locked up for a total of more than 30 years following an investigation into a criminal conspiracy in South Wales.
Speaking to the South Wales Argus following his conviction, South Wales Police said they were aware of Mitchell's criminal past.
“There had been previous press interest spanning a number of years on Peter ‘Fatso’ Mitchell, as he was a former lieutenant of jailed drug baron John Gilligan.
“He was born in Dublin but fled Ireland in 1996 amid the unprecedented Garda crackdown following the assassination of journalist Veronica Guerin."
Co-defendants James Gallagher (36) and Nathan Webber (28), both from Swansea, were also jailed for 10 years.
Terrence Mills (60) from Garston, Liverpool, was sent to prison for four years and 10 months.
After their sentencing hearing, a police spokesperson said: “On July 7, 2020, Peter Mitchell was stopped whilst driving from Bradford to South Wales.
“Located on the rear seats of the car, in a package of nappies, was 3kg of cocaine with a wholesale value of between £109,500 to £133,500.”
Ieuan Rees, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court how the police investigation linked Mitchell with 7kg of cocaine being supplied to Gallagher and in return at least £254,000 was handed to Mitchell.
When arrested, Gallagher’s home address was searched and in his attic a suitcase was found which contained £100,590.
Gallagher was working in partnership with Webber.
Crime reporter Veronica Guerin was murdered by John Gilligan’s gang on June 26, 1996, as she stopped in traffic on the Naas dual carriageway.
Gilligan was tried for the murder but was acquitted.
Gilligan gang member Brian Meehan was the only member of his gang convicted of the killing and is currently serving a life sentence.
He was moved to the open prison at Shelton Abbey in August 2021, in preparation for his eventual release.