| 5.8°C Dublin

Plot by 'Fat' Freddie gang to wipe out King Ratt rivals

AN INFORMER in the 'Fat' Freddie Thompson drugs gang led gardai to a weapons haul that was to be used to wipe out senior members of the rival King Ratt gang.

Gardai seized four deadly weapons which Thompson's mob had acquired in order to re-ignite the Crumlin/Drimnagh feud.

Among the haul were two Ingram machine guns which were to be used to kill members of the rival Brian 'King Ratt' Rattigan gang -- possibly in a pub attack.

But detectives stopped an unprecedented gangland bloodbath after getting key information from within Thompson's network which led to a massive operation in September of last year.

At the time, Thompson was abroad - spending his time between Birmingham and Amsterdam - and the weapons haul was the responsibility of one of his most trusted lieutenants.

However, they were betrayed by an informant.

Drug addict Paul O'Neill was caught with the machine guns, two other firearms, two silencers and 50 rounds of ammunition on September 22, 2010, at an industrial estate in Damestown, west Dublin.



Cocaine

Detectives also recovered €28,276 worth of cocaine.

A source explained: "These machine guns are absolutely lethal - they could cut someone in half. We have no doubt that they were to be used in a feud related attack. After this operation, there was a huge amount of paranoia within the Thompson gang and the seizure was a major blow to them."

Yesterday O'Neill was jailed for five years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

In court, Detective Linda Williams said that gardai were informed that they may find drugs and firearms at O'Neill's.

That evening, gardai saw a man at the rear of a silver Peugeot 207 and watched him take two black bags from the car and put them into a shed.

After gardai stopped the car they searched it and discovered a black laptop case which contained two Ingram machine guns, two silencers and 50 rounds of ammunition.

O'Neill told gardai "the rest" of the items were at his work place and in a follow-up search gardai found two further firearms and 404 grams of cocaine valued at €28,276.

Threat

O'Neill, who had no previous convictions, told gardai he was under threat and in fear of his safety by a gang from the inner city of Dublin and indicated he had financial problems from his gambling.

He told gardai he became involved with the gang 12 months before his arrest.

Sources say that he was "being used" by the gang because he was not previously not known to gardai.

"It was a tactic that Freddie's gang commonly use - get people who have clean records to hold on to stuff for them," a source explained.

Yesterday's case is similar to a case last week where Michael Fitzgerald (30) from Cushlawn Park, Tallaght, was jailed for eight years after being busted with a huge stash of cocaine, money and guns which belonged to the Thompson mob.

Like O' Neill, Fitzgerald had no previous criminal record before being targeted in garda raids in June of last year which made him "very useful" to the Thompson gang.

Yesterday Judge Martin Nolan said O'Neill was "being used by other parties to transport guns and he was a useful person in their criminal enterprises".

"He was sucked into this criminal enterprise through his gambling and cocaine addiction as he owed money.

"The amount of guns and ammunition makes this a very serious offence and he now has to pay the heavy price," the judge added.

kfoy@herald.ie


Privacy