A LOADED shotgun recovered by gardai carrying out searches after the murder of Dean Johnson has led to a man being jailed for four years.
James McMahon (23) was busted by gardai who were investigating the gang that killed the 21-year-old in a case of mistaken identity.
Mr Johnson had been out socialising in a pub with the intended target of the mob shortly before the murder occurred just after midnight on August 24, 2013.
Dublin Circuit Court heard this week that McMahon had the shotgun for his and his family's protection after his Clondalkin home had been shot at a number of times.
He left the loaded Beretta shotgun in a wardrobe in his girlfriend's home after he had stayed there to babysit their two-year-old son.
The woman discovered the gun while getting dressed for work and contacted McMahon over the course of two days, demanding that he remove it from her home.
He did not remove it and it was still there when gardai investigating Mr Johnson's murder raided the house following what was described in court as a tip-off.
The raid happened around three weeks after the murder and McMahon was arrested and later charged over the possession of the weapon and separate serious driving offences. The seized weapon, which had been stolen in a burglary, was not used in the murder.
Eight people have so far been arrested and questioned over Mr Johnson's murder but no one has been charged.
The chief suspect is a gangland hitman who is originally from Clonsilla and was a former member of the notorious Westies gang in the 1990s.
The intended target in Mr Johnson's murder is another hitman, who is currently in prison. He is suspected of murdering criminal Jason Carroll (39), who was shot dead less than a week after Mr Johnson was killed.
He believed Carroll was behind a plot to kill him.