Man who allegedly threw cocaine out of window in Spain is Dublin criminal
Gardai have established that a 39-year-old Irish man who was arrested in Spain after allegedly throwing two suitcases of cocaine out of a hotel window is a criminal who was previously targeted here in a proceeds-of-crime case.
The suspect, who remains in custody in Valencia, has been named as Philip Grendon from Greenfort Drive, Clondalkin, and also with an address at Spiddal Road, Ballyfermot.
Grendon's brother, Brian, is a member of a major west Dublin drugs gang who have been constant targets of gardai for 15 years.
Already this year, officers based in Ballyfermot have been involved in the seizure of more than €1m worth of drugs from this crew who are considered one of the most organised and longest-established in the country.
The bizarre incident for which Grendon was arrested in Valencia happened last Friday just before 10pm at the four-star Tryp Valencia Oceanic Hotel.
Police are said to be working on the theory that the alleged drugs trafficker, who had checked into the hotel a few hours earlier, confused noise from other guests entering and leaving their rooms with a rival gang trying to steal his drugs after suffering a paranoia attack.
It is alleged that Grendon also removed ceiling tiles in his room, along with an air vent in an apparent attempt to hide the stash. The 55kg of cocaine in the cases would have an estimated street value of more than €3.8m in Ireland.
Sources who know Grendon say they are "surprised" that he would be trusted by a gang to be in charge of such a huge drugs haul.
"Philip was always known to be a paranoid individual, but if what the Spanish police are saying is true, this is taking paranoia to a whole new level," a senior source said.
Grendon's younger brother is convicted heroin dealer Brian Grendon (37), who was jailed for six years in December 2002 after he was busted with almost €2m worth of heroin in Palmerstown, west Dublin, the year before.
Brian Grendon was previously described in court by a senior detective as being linked to a gang who had in the past "used fatal shootings of anyone who compromised their business".
Philip Grendon appeared in court in Dublin in February 2012 when gardai prosecuted him under proceeds of crime legislation.
Some of his associates were targeted by gardai as part of Operation Jumbo in 2002. They included murder victim David McCreevy (23), who was shot dead in Tallaght in 2002.