The nephew of Marlo Hyland has been jailed today after he was caught test firing handguns in his back garden.
Karl Hyland (aged 24) was caught as a result of a massive garda operation involving the Organised Crime Unit, The Emergency Response Unit and the Crime and Security Branch. He was sentenced to seven years by Judge Yvonne Murphy
The guns were to be sold onto a criminal gang and Hyland was holding onto the weapons before they were transferred. The stash included two handguns, a silencer and dozens of rounds of ammunition.
His defence counsel submitted that Hyland showed “some academic promise” as a teen but “went off the rails” when his uncle Marlo was murdered in 2006. He then became involved in serious crime
Hyland of St Attracta Road, Cabra pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of the guns and ammunition of various calibres at his home on October 10, 2010.
He also pleaded guilty to handling two sets of stolen car keys and a stolen laptop at McDonalds carpark, Blanchardstown on May 17, 2010. He has 69 previous convictions, mostly for minor traffic offences.
Judge Murphy sentenced Hyland to a total of seven years for the two incidents but suspended the final two years. She rejected a defence submission that he had a deprived upbringing, noting that he came from a “hardworking” background and was cared for by his grandmother.
Detective Garda Glen Somers told prosecuting counsel, Mr Damien Colgan BL, that gardaí had information that a handover of guns was due to take place between criminal gangs.
The Emergency Response Unit raided Hyland’s family home where he had been test firing the weapons in the back garden. As the armed gardaí entered, he threw a bag containing the weapons over a wall and into a neighbour’s garden.
The weapons and ammunition was later recovered and discharged rounds were found in Hyland’s garden. Firearm residue was also found on Hyland’s clothes and both guns had been recently fired.
Hyland was arrested along with four other people in the house. He refused to assist gardaí in interview.
He was on bail at the time after his arrest several months previously for his role in a stolen car ring. Hyland was caught as part of Operation Creeper which targeted Dublin burglaries.
A surveillance team observed Hyland drive to McDonalds restaurant in a Volvo car and meet with several people. One of the people was seen going to a flower pot in the restaurant and hiding a set of keys there.
When the group broke up, gardaí arrested Hyland and the keys were recovered. They were found to open the Volvo which contained the keys to a stolen BMW and Volkswagen as well as a €1,700 laptop which had been taken in a break-in. The cars, worth a total of €70,000 were recovered nearby.
Defence counsel, Mr Ronan Kenney BL, said Hyland was “a cog” in the gun transfer and was naïve and stupid to have the weapons in his family home.
He said he began using drugs after leaving school and also suffers from Crohn’s Disease and serious back pain.