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GUN & DRUGS SEIZED AFTER GANG KILLING; Detectives find crucial clues in early morning raids as they hunt for hitmen.

Byline: By JIMMY CUNNINGHAM

DETECTIVES probing the gang murder of Kevin Ledwidge yesterday seized a submachine gun and cocaine in a series of early-morning raids.

The 28-year-old was blasted in the chest with a shotgun at his home on Ratoath Drive in Dublin's Finglas on Sunday morning.

And officers have also made a forensic breakthrough after the gunman failed to get rid of vital evidence in the crashed getaway car.

A deadly Mac 10 seized in the raid can fire hundreds of rounds a minute and is a favourite of the notorious Jamaican Yardie drugs gangs in London.

Officers are probing several theories behind the murder and whether it is linked to the drugs trade.

Ledwidge's death is the latest shotgun murder in the city with officers fearing criminals are favouring the weapon because of the lack of ballistic evidence it leaves behind.

Garda technical units continued their examinations at the blood-splattered home of the latest victim. Detectives also made door to door enquiries.

The crackdown continued over Sunday night as elite gardai raided eight homes on the city's northside.

Officers are also investigating whether the shooting is linked to a dispute in the Finglas area over a week ago. It is understood that the dead man may have links to crime families on the northside of the city and his death could spark tit-for-tat retaliations.

The getaway car used in the murder was found at Deanstown Road on the northside.

The gunman and the driver fled on foot fearing they were about to be caught.

But in their panic they left items behind including DNA evidence.

Officers believe the duo had intended to torch the car but never got the chance to do so.

Garda sources have revealed the two men left their fingerprints all over the vehicle.

Detectives backed up by the Emergency Response Unit raided properties in the Finglas area.

Gardai believe Ledwidge knew his killers and would not have opened the door to strangers.

However, they are not discounting the possibility that the intended target may have been another man.

A source said: "You can't rule out anything but this was a sloppy hit and we are very confident of catching those responsible."

news@irishmirror.ie

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PROBE: Gardai at the scene of shooting in Finglas; EVIDENCE: Submachine like one seized and car used in the shooting
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 17, 2007
Words:392
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