Criminal gang member jailed

Wed, Nov 14, 2012, 00:00

A “highly regarded” and “valuable” member of Eamon Dunne’s criminal gang has been sentenced to 14 years for conspiracy to steal from a cash-in-transit van and possession of ammunition.

Joseph Warren (30) had pleaded not guilty to conspiring to steal cash from Chubb Ireland at Tesco supermarket on the Shackleton Road in Celbridge on November 2nd, 2007.

The attempted heist gang including Eamonn Dunne, Alan and Wayne Bradley, Jeffrey Morrow, Michael Ryan and Warren, had followed a Chubb Ireland Nissan Patrol jeep for a number of hours in the hope of stealing over €880,000 from the safe in it.

Warren, a qualified brick layer and former solider, said he joined the gang because he missed the “camaraderie” of the army.

He claimed he was acting under duress from Dunne and told that he would be on “top of Marlo” or going to “God’s house” if he didn’t open the Nissan Patrol jeep to allow his accomplice access to it.

Warren also claimed that he had been directed to wrap the 31 rounds of ammunition, that were found at the base of a tree in a public park, in a plastic wrap to stop them getting wet.

Warren had pleaded guilty to the ammunition charge on the morning of his trial after previously looking for phone records which he claimed showed communication between him and gardaí leading up to his arrest in July 2009.

The gardaí don’t accept that such communication existed and Warren told the court today that he had been directed by someone else to cover the ammunition. He said he didn’t know what it was to be used for.

Judge Patrick McCartan commended members of the gardai in “the professional and effective way they pursued Mr Warren and associates”, a gang which he described as being involved in drug dealing, armed robbery and “contract killings as necessary”.

The garda investigation led by Detective Superintendent Dominic Hayes involved months of surveillance prior to the attempted heist and included members from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Special Detective Unit and the Crime and Investigation Unit.

“They (the gardaí) have done the community a good service,” Judge McCartan said before adding that each of the members of the gang had received their just desserts.

He said added that it may seem wrong to make such a comment about the late Eamon Dunne but added “He who rules by the sword may end up done by the sword”.

Warren of Belclare Crescent, Ballymun, had been convicted of conspiracy by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury last week following a three week trial. A jury in March had failed to reach a verdict on the same charge.

He pleaded guilty earlier this year to possession of the ammunition at Poppintree Park, Ballymun on July 19th, 2009.