The inspection of a gun safe in Wellington has been undertaken as part of a two-day operation by police targeting outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCG) in the region.
On Wednesday and Thursday police from Mudgee Local Area Command and the Gangs Squad’s Strike Force Raptor conducted a high-visibility operation targeting OMCG members and their associates.
During an FPO search at a property on Pyramul Road, Windeyer, police located a self-loading .22 calibre rifle, magazines, ammunition, knuckle dusters, a firework, and cannabis.
A 60-year-old man was arrested and taken to Mudgee Police Station, where he was charged with acquire/possess prohibited firearms subject to FPO, possess unregistered firearm, not keep firearm safely, acquire ammunition subject to FPO, possess ammunition without holding authority, possess prohibited weapons without permit, handle explosive/precursor without authorising licence, and possess prohibited drug.
He was refused bail to appear at Mudgee Local Court on Friday.
As part of the operation, officers also served Firearm Prohibition Orders (FPOs) on five men – aged 30, 49, 58, and two aged 27 – at properties on Gladstone Street, Winter Street, White Circle in Mudgee, and Queen Street, Gulgong.
During the search of the homes and vehicles, police located a replica flint lock rifle, unsecured ammunition, assorted fireworks, cannabis, and OMCG colours.
Inquiries are continuing and police expect to lay charges pending the outcome of forensic analysis of seized items.
Police also conducted a safe storage inspection at a home at Melaleuca Drive, Wellington, where it was established one of the registered firearms was not in the safe.
Shortly after, police located the firearm and ammunition on the floor at a home on Preston Street, Wellington.
Officers seized the three registered rifles, ammunition, and the 64-year-old man’s firearms licence.
Also during the operation, police issued eight consorting warnings, six traffic infringement notices, and one defect notice. Three people also returned positive readings during random roadside drug tests.
Mudgee Local Area Commander, Superintendent Tony Joice, said the operation forms part of an ongoing strategy to reduce the impact of OMCG activities in the Mudgee area.
“With the assistance of Strike Force Raptor, we will continue to run these high-impact operations not only to target members and associates of outlaw motorcycle gangs, but also to disrupt their activities,” Supt Joice said.
“In particular, we are focused on the illegal or unlawful possession of firearms, which may be used to commit violent crimes.
“We will not tolerate public acts of violence – or any activity – that creates fear and puts the safety of our community at risk,” Supt Joice said.
Strike Force Raptor was established by State Crime Command’s Gangs Squad in 2009. It is a proactive and high-impact operation targeting outlaw motorcycle gangs and any associated criminal enterprises.
Anyone with information to assist police is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.