A 32-year-old mid-level criminal gang member who laundered money for the Kinahan organised crime group and who has "learned his lesson from prison" and is now reformed was given a suspended sentence at the Special Criminal Court today.
Sean Ruth, from Stradbrook, Stradbally Road in Portlaoise, pleaded guilty to two money laundering offences and has paid the Criminal Assets Bureau over €20,000.
He first came to garda attention after his DNA was found in a warehouse the Kinahan organised crime group used for storing submachine guns and semi automatic pistols in 2016 and 2017.
Sean Ruth was a criminal gang member who also allowed his bank accounts to be used for money laundering.
He had over €50,000 in two accounts, €34,000 of which came from "an unknown source".
He also had almost €20,000 in a credit union account, which the Criminal Assets Bureau seized.
He owes CAB another €9,900 which the court heard his parents will help him to pay.
Ruth was first arrested after the gardaí discovered the Kinahan gang's armoury in a warehouse in the Greenogue Industrial Estate in south Dublin and seized 15 guns and ammunition, including a sub machine gun, a Kalashnikov, semi automatic pistols, tracking devices and a machine for making car registration plates.
Sean Ruth's DNA was found at the Kinahan gang's warehouse and on one of the guns and he was jailed for three years in 2019 for firearms offences.
The Special Criminal Court has since been told that prison for Sean Ruth was "an eye opener", and he has now gone through a period of rehabilitation and reform.
He has returned to education and is currently doing a sports recreation and exercise course.
The 32-year-old says he has begun a new life and is no longer involved with gangsters or criminality.
Sean Ruth ran a bouncy castle and power washing business and also sold cars and horses but did not pay tax.
However, the court heard he made associations which led him towards illegitimate business but has taken his medicine and learned his lesson.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt said today that Ruth had been deeply involved in the activities of a significant criminal organisation but accepted that he should be given an opportunity to continue the positive rehabilitative steps that he has already taken.
He told Ruth that he had responded positively to his previous sentence and he better understand that a longer sentence awaits him this time if he steps out of line.
"He has had a taste of prison," the judge said, "let's see how we go."
He sentenced him to four-and-a-half years in prison but suspended it for six years.
He also said he must pay his outstanding tax bill of €9,900 to the Revenue Commissioners within 12 months, because "paying tax is part and parcel of being a good citizen".
Sean Ruth promised that he would.