Felloni emerges from jail with his face covered

NOTORIOUS drug trafficker Tony Felloni was released from Mountjoy prison yesterday, having served 15 years of a 20-year prison sentence for the sale and supply of heroin.

The 68-year-old was released from Mountjoy Training Unit at 10.15am yesterday. He emerged wearing a hat and with a scarf covering his face. He also wore a tracksuit and runners and carried five black bin bags containing his belongings.

He was whisked away in a silver Toyota Yaris driven by a woman, who emerged from the prison with him. It is understood that Felloni, who earned the nickname King Scum, sought the assistance of a community welfare officer prior to his release. Community welfare officers are attached to the homeless persons unit in the HSE and assigned to prisoners who need assistance finding accommodation. They also advise prisoners about their social welfare and other entitlements. Felloni's family have cut all ties with him.

Felloni, described by sources as a "model prisoner", was driven through the Phoenix Park and then out onto the quays. He got out of the car and went on foot across the Ha'penny bridge and then through Temple Bar. He then walked into the back entrance of the Clarence hotel before exiting through the front in a bid to get away from photographers in pursuit. He then got into a taxi.

Felloni, formerly of Dominick Street in Dublin, was responsible for flooding the Dublin drugs market with heroin in the 1980s. He became a hate figure in the 1970s and 1980s and was a target of the Concerned Parents Against Drugs campaign group. He enlisted his children to help him sell heroin when they were still teenagers and actively encouraged them to experiment with the drug. He gave his eldest son, Mario Angelo, heroin as a 16th-birthday present; his second-eldest child, Anne, became a heroin addict when she was still in school and contracted Aids. Of his seven children, all except one have spent time in prison and became addicted to heroin. Felloni also physically assaulted his wife Anne several times and she had to be hospitalised.

He had 26 previous convictions dating back to 1959, including a 10-year sentence imposed in 1986 for drug trafficking. He also ran a prostitution racket. In 1964, he was convicted of procuring young girls for immoral purposes and was sentenced to three years in prison.

His wife Anne has divorced Felloni and reverted to her maiden name of Flynn. She lives in Dublin city centre and declined to be interviewed when approached last week.

Last year, the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) made legal history by seizing almost €500,000 in assets from the notorious drug trafficker and two of his children, Luigi and Regina. The case, one of the first to involve the CAB, was fought in the courts for 14 years. The case involved the use of "ordinary" powers to seize assets under the Criminal Justice Act rather than the Proceeds of Crime Act, which was introduced after the setting up of the CAB.