A trusted manager for the Kinahan cartel who oversaw the “industrial scale” storage of drugs worth €1.4m and the distribution of ammunition was jailed on Thursday for eight years by the Special Criminal Court.
In passing sentence, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said the case of Douglas “Oscar” Glynn was a good example of how higher level members of the criminal organisation use “coalface” operatives as “cannon fodder”. Mr Justice Hunt said society was now “entitled to a long period of silence from Mr Glynn”, who is already serving a six-and-a-half year jail sentence imposed by the same court for his involvement in a foiled Kinahan Cartel plot to murder James ‘Mago’ Gately. On that occasion, the court heard how Glynn used the moniker Oscar during his involvement in the failed murder bid.
The court heard that a breakthrough in encryption-cracking technology led gardaí to Glynn via recovered phone messages that revealed how gang members panicked about the size of boxes used in the operation and how they used code words such as a “slate of pollen” for cannabis resin, “tools” for firearms, “seeds” for ammunition and “candy”, which referred to €108k in cash.
Mr Justice Hunt said Glynn had been a “trusted manager” over a significant period for a “high-level criminal organisation” and was responsible for the “day-to-day running of the warehouse”.
The judge said the court was satisfied that Glynn received instructions from those further up in the organisation and passed them on while also providing “considerable input in the movement of stock”.
Mr Justice Hunt said Glynn was involved in the “industrial scale” storage of drugs and of the distribution of ammunition to “protect profits” made by the organisation.
The judge said Glynn had been a “supervisor” and “frequent and significant contributor” in the operation until it was halted by gardaí.
The judge said the case was a good example of those higher up in the organisation being able to insulate themselves by using “lower and mid-level coalface” operatives who are “regarded as dispensable cannon fodder”.
Glynn (38) last of Fitzgibbon Court, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty last week at the three-judge court to conspiracy to commit a serious offence, namely the possession of 335 rounds of ammunition, contrary to Section 71 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2006.
Father-of-three Glynn pleaded guilty to conspiring with his brother, Anthony, along with Emmet Fogarty and persons unknown, to commit a serious offence, namely the possession of 199 rounds of .44 Remington Magnum calibre ammunition, 76 rounds of .357 Magnum calibre ammunition, 38 rounds of .45 ACP calibre ammunition and 22 rounds of .22 LR calibre ammunition in such circumstances as to give rise to a reasonable inference that the said ammunition was not required for a lawful purpose.
The offence relates to dates between January 25th, 2017, and April 12th, 2017, both dates inclusive and within the State.
On February 20th last, Glynn pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court to conspiracy to possessing cocaine and cannabis with a value over €13K for the purposes of sale or supply at a location within the State between January 25th, 2014, and April 4th, 2017.
Glynn is serving a six-and-a-half year jail sentence imposed in February 2022 for his involvement in the foiled plot to murder Gately, during which he placed a tracker device on the rival Hutch member’s car.
On Thursday, Mr Justice Hunt fixed a headline sentence of 12 years for the drugs conspiracy charge but discounted 25% of that for his early guilty plea. In light of a positive governor’s report and to encourage rehabilitation, he said the final year of the sentence would be suspended for four years during which time Glynn would be under supervision of the probation service.
Mr Justice Hunt also sentenced Glynn to four years’ imprisonment on the ammunition conspiracy charge to run concurrently with the drugs charge with no portion suspended. The sentences are to run from February 20 last, when Glynn entered his first plea.
“Society is entitled to a long period of silence from Mr Glynn,” said Mr Justice Hunt. The judge added that Glynn was facing the consequences of his involvement “through free choice” with “a dangerous and destructive criminal organisation”.
Mr Justice Hunt said Glynn was a director on the frontline and conduit for communications for the gang about whom he was “fully equipped” in terms of knowledge of their operation and intent.
At Glynn’s sentence hearing, Det Gda Sergeant Jonathan O’Leary of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau told Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, that on foot of a search warrant drugs and ammunition were seized by gardaí in March 2017 from a business premises at Mount Dillon business park in Dublin 15.
The detective said surveillance had been put in place after a separate investigation aroused their suspicion about Glynn.
Det Sgt O’Leary told the sentence hearing that gardaí cut through a metal door on the premises and found 20 kilos of cocaine worth around €1.4 million, two kilos of cannabis resin worth around €11K and two kilos of cannabis herb worth around €40K.
Det Sgt O’Leary said different types of ammunition discovered were suitable for use in Colt, Glock and Walther handguns.
The detective said Emmet Fogarty, of Brookhaven Drive, Blanchardstown, was “responsible” for the unit at the business park. Fogarty was 47-years-old when he was jailed for five years after pleading guilty to possession of the drugs and ammunition in November 2018.
A follow-up search to the lock-up carried out at a residential address in Dublin in April 2017 saw gardaí seize Blackberry phones on which a number attributed to Glynn was discovered.
Det Sgt O’Leary said technological breakthroughs in cracking phone encryption allowed gardaí to only fully access the contents of the phone in February 2021. The detective said the technology was able to identify a person saved under the code name ‘Oscar’ on the phone as Douglas Glynn.
Mr McGinn quoted a text message saying “eight green but not one with cartoon stickers” which Det Sgt O’Leary said referred to eight kilos of cannabis herb. A phone number saved as ‘E’ was identified as Fogarty, said the detective.
Det Sgt O’Leary said references to a “slate of pollen” referred to one kilo of cannabis resin and that “tools” referenced firearms. “Pis” referred to pistols and “seeds” referred to ammunition, said the detective, who added that one text read: “Little button on the side to put seeds in them”.
Det Sgt O’Leary said that “candy” referred to €108K in cash being held by the gang.
The garda said that Glynn’s brother, Anthony, could also be identified as having text messages and a user profile on the phone.
In January, Anthony Glynn (51) of Fitzgibbon Court, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court to possessing the ammunition and drugs for an organised crime gang.
Det O’Leary said descriptions of the ammunition, drugs and boxes used in messages on the phone matched what was found at the lock-up.
The detective told Mr McGinn that a message from Anthony Glynn to Douglas Glynn described Fogarty as ringing in a panic about the size of the boxes which could not be moved by a single person. Det Sgt O’Leary said the description of the large boxes containing the drugs matched what was discovered at the search.
The witness said that Glynn exercised his right to silence when interviewed by gardaí in May 2021 before entering a guilty plea.
Det Sgt O’Leary said Glynn had 17 previous convictions, mostly for road traffic offences, and has one District Court conviction for possession of drugs. However, he said Glynn had a “significant” conviction from when he was sentenced for his role in a foiled murder plot of a Kinahan crime gang target.
Anne-Marie Lawlor SC, for Glynn, had said her client was not the “beneficial owner” of any of the items found in the lock-up.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt asked Ms Lawlor if it was her case that Glynn was a type of “factotum warehouse manager” and was told “yes”.
Ms Lawlor said her client had three children who were suffering without the presence of their father in the family home. She said Glynn was a “cog” in the operation and received instructions from others and acted on them, which was accepted by Det Sgt O’Leary.
Det Sgt O’Leary also accepted that Glynn’s early plea of guilty was a “valuable” one in what would have been a lengthy circumstantial case.
Ms Lawlor said her client had been involved in a sports club and had engaged in a drug-treatment programme before his incarceration.
Counsel said her client did not waste the resources of the court or gardaí and did not choose to “roll the dice” by entering a not-guilty plea.
Ms Lawlor said Glynn had been the subject of a favourable governor’s report and that he was working and educating himself in prison.
In November 2021, Glynn changed his plea to guilty just over a week after he went on trial accused of being involved in a Kinahan Cartel plot to murder rival Hutch gang member James ‘Mago’ Gately.
Glynn admitted to placing a tracker device on Gately’s car in Belfast in 2017 as part of the foiled murder plot.
Gately had been warned by gardaí of a threat to his life from criminals who believed him to be involved in the Regency Hotel murder of Kinahan Cartel associate David Byrne in February 2016.
The court heard in previous related cases that there was “ongoing targeting” of Gately in the context of a feud between the Hutch and Kinahan crime groups. Estonian hitman Imre Arakas was brought to Ireland in 2017 to carry out the murder of Gately before he was apprehended by gardaí.
Glynn was sentenced in February of last year to seven-and-a-half years’ imprisonment with the final year suspended for his role in the plot.
Glynn pleaded guilty that on dates between December 7th, 2016, and April 6th, 2017, inclusive, both within and outside the State and with knowledge of a criminal organisation and with the intent of enhancing the ability of the said criminal organisation or any of its members to commit a serious offence, namely the murder of James Gately, he did participate in or contribute to activities connected with the said offence.