Sources in the city say the customer, who is a respected and law-abiding citizen, believes the notorious drug dealer interfered with his drink
The Newry-born gangster was at a bar in the border town on Thursday night last week when he got embroiled in an argument with another customer.
The Sunday World understands he has accused ‘Chocolate’ of doping his drink on a previous occasion.
Sources in the city say the customer, who is a respected, law-abiding citizen, believes the notorious drug dealer interfered with his drink.
He said that on the night in question, his behavior had totally changed and was totally irrelevant. He is convinced it was the result of involuntary drug use.
This caused a huge argument and ended in a bloody fight.
Sources say that neither man came out unscathed, but it was ‘Chocolate’ who came out on top, despite taking the first punch.
The 49-year-old, who lives in South Armagh, was knocked unconscious and his injuries were such that he had to be hospitalized, as did his opponent.
A photo has been circulating on social media showing the mobster’s bruised and bloody face, suggesting he may have suffered a fractured skull.
He was widely mocked, with a number of people poking fun at his injuries.
The photograph – showing a large bump on his temple – reveals the extent of the injuries the self-proclaimed tough guy suffered in the attack, which took place in full view of other patrons and staff at a popular local bar.
The Sunday World understands that the men later met in adjacent cubicles at the hospital and that at one point the bar patron removed a drop from his arm with the intention of attacking “Chocolate again. ” “to finish the job”.
His intentions were foiled by the presence of two police officers who were in the department for a different reason.
‘Chocolate’ is no stranger to violence. He has a reputation as a brawler and is quick to raise his fists.
He was allegedly involved in a street fight before Christmas and he has a long history of bar fights.
There are now fears of retaliation once ‘Chocolate’ recovers from his injuries.
Over the years, he battled rival drug gangs — at one point his home was targeted by dissidents — but he remained one of the border town’s biggest drug dealers.
However, he is currently facing drug charges after being detained as part of a Europe-wide investigation called Operation Venetic in which criminals using encrypted mobile devices to import and export drugs were targeted.
Commonly known as EncroChat, criminals used encrypted mobile devices to adopt and hide behind codenames.
Around 60,000 EncroChat users have been identified worldwide, including around 10,000 in the UK – all involved in coordinating and planning the supply and distribution of drugs and weapons, money laundering money and other criminal activities.
A number of people in Northern Ireland have been arrested and charged, with a small number of cases already in court.
The ‘Chocolate’ will be one of the most high-profile mobsters to be taken down – if found guilty. But until his trial, business was business as usual for one of the North’s most prolific drug traffickers.
Last August he was involved in an altercation which led to the temporary closure of a bar in the border town. There was a confrontation after staff at a bar in Newry raised concerns about the mob’s use of ‘Chocolate’ for drug deals.
It is understood a complaint has been made to the bar manager who confronted an individual who is a known associate of ‘Chocolate’.
This resulted in the grand criminal being called and arriving at the bar. This isn’t the first time ‘Chocolate’ has been embroiled in a confrontation at a bar.
A few years ago, a member of staff at another bar in Newry was on the wrong side of beating up the crime boss after he tried to get him banned due to drug dealing on the premises.
The notorious mobster has a reputation for extreme violence and is known for delivering brutal beatings, on one occasion dragging a driver who worked for Sinn Féin down the street and slamming him with a hammer.
The Sunday World first learned of ‘Chocolate”s activities when he became involved in the border town’s lucrative drug trade, sidelining Barney ‘King Coke’ Morgan.
Morgan, who also has no criminal convictions, controlled Newry’s drug trade for years until “Chocolate” came along.
It was ‘Chocolate’ who brought the heroine to the streets of the border town after associating with an organized crime gang from Eastern Europe.
Despite local objections, “Chocolate” continued to flood the area with this deadly drug.