A joint police operation targeting outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCG) has been carried out across the South Coast on Wednesday, February 15 uncovering a hydroponic cannabis set-up and weapons.
Shortly after 6am police from Shoalhaven LAC, Far South Coast LAC, Strike Force Raptor, the Public Order and Riot Squad, and Far South Coast Operations Support Group served firearm prohibition orders (FPOs) on six men at properties across the region.
An FPO allows police to search (without a warrant) any person, premises or vehicle the person occupies, controls or manages, to help police find and seize firearms and related items (such as a firearm part or ammunition) that the person is prohibited from having.
Police can conduct an FPO search at any time, as long as the search is “reasonably required” to determine whether the person has committed an offence by using a firearm, or by acquiring or possessing a firearm, a firearm part or ammunition
Officers served an FPO on a 60-year-old man at a property on Hawks Nest Place, Surfside (near Batemans Bay) and during a subsequent search located a small hydroponic set-up, which was dismantled, and seized two plants and 500g of cannabis.
The 60-year-old man was taken to Batemans Bay Police Station where he was charged with cultivate prohibited plant (enhanced indoor) and supply prohibited drug.
He was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Batemans Bay Local Court on Monday 20 March 2017.
Meanwhile, officers served FPOs on five other men over the day – aged 35, 39, 46, and two aged 41 – at properties on Valda Avenue, Basin View; Nurrawallee Street, Ulladulla; View Street, Batehaven; Illaroo Rd, North Nowra; and Wharf Rd, Batemans Bay.
During the search of the homes and vehicles police located a sling-shot, a wooden baton, liquid suspected to be a prohibited drug, mace, cannabis, steroids and OMCG colours.
Inquiries are continuing and police expect to lay further charges pending the outcome of forensic analysis of seized items.
Shoalhaven LAC superintendent Stephen Hegarty said police will not tolerate criminal behaviour disrupting the local community.
“We will continue to work closely with Strike Force Raptor and conduct inquiries to reduce the impact of OMCG activities in the region,” Supt Hegarty said.
“In particular, we are focused on the illegal or unlawful possession of firearms, which may be used to commit violent crimes and put the safety of our community at risk.”
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 or report it directly to detectives via the Strike Force Raptor online reporting page: https://www1.police.nsw.gov.au/Default.aspx?id=49