Felloni family to challenge legislation on drug assets


REGINA FELLONI, the unemployed daughter of the jailed drug dealer Tony Felloni, has been jailed for six years and nine months by Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The court had heard she had £113,500 in bank and post office accounts. She, her brother Luigi and their father may begin a challenge to the legislation which allows the courts to seize funds and assets allegedly gained by drug-dealing.

The family assets in this jurisdiction are under investigation and all its known bank accounts have been frozen by order of the High Court.

Det Sgt John O'Driscoll said Regina Felloni also claimed part ownership of a house bought for £46,000 in cash and renovated extensively by cash payments, and she owned a £6,000 car when arrested.

Judge Cyril Kelly had noted that she had proved both positive and negative for opiates while in custody and had been unable, on two occasions, to provide samples.

He had adjourned the case overnight to get a more recent result, but she had refused to give a sample before coming to court.

The evidence was that she controlled the drugs operation for which she was arrested. She denies this, said Judge Kelly.

He said she claimed she became addicted to heroin under the direction of her father and used £100 worth of heroin daily. She said he assaulted her and forced her to carry out his intentions.

Judge Kelly said she would be 21 in two days' time. She had reached the age of full responsibility when, she claimed, her father forced her into drug dealing. He had to take the interests of the community into consideration and jail her.

Det Sgt O'Driscoll said the £113,500 cash was in three bank accounts and one post office account. Two of the bank accounts with sums of £24,368 and £18,511 in them had been opened on July 11th, 1994, and April 10th, 1995, respectively.

A bank account with £68,996 in it had been opened in her name when she was an infant, hut the major transactions did not happen until 1993 and 1994. There was also a post office account with £1,630 in it. The High Court has frozen these accounts.

Det Sgt O'Driscoll said his investigations into the Felloni family assets were continuing. He was seeking further details about the house Felloni said she part-owned with her grandfather at Mellowes Road Finglas.

Felloni pleaded guilty in July to possessing £30,000 worth of heroin for supply in a rented flat at Drumcondra on April 2nd, 1996.

Mr Garnet Orange, defending, confirmed that instructions had been given by the Felloni family members to seek payment from the funds frozen by the High Court for a challenge to the power to confiscate assets under the Criminal Justice Act, 1994.

The matter had been raised by Mr Shane Murphy, prosecuting, who asked for confirmation that a signature on a document giving these instructions was that of Regina Felloni.

Felloni had originally been in custody to February 18th, 1997, for sentence but Mr Orange said he had express instructions for sentence to be proceeded with now.

He noted that the real activity in the major bank account in her name began when her father was released from prison. Mr Orange said this account had been opened when she was still an infant and the money was in fact under the control of her father.

Garda Seamus Boland told the court last July that Regina Felloni was arrested during "Operation Pizza" which was the codename for a campaign organised by the Dublin North Central Divisional Drugs Unit to target the Felloni family drugs cartel.

Garda Boland said Felloni was officially unemployed but had a large amount in a bank account.

She became involved in drugs after the 1993 release from prison of her father. Her seven convictions before that were mainly for shoplifting.