A PATCHED member of the Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle Gang was arrested at a Macarthur property in the early hours of Tuesday morning and was charged with a string of firearm and drug related offences.
Detectives from the Echo Taskforce, Warrnambool Crime Investigation Unit, Hamilton Police, Dog Squad and the AFP National Anti-Gangs Squad attended the Mount Eccles Road property at 6.30am on Tuesday, November 9 to serve a Firearm Prohibition Order (FPO) on a 57-year-old Macarthur man.
Police located two handguns, an air rifle, ammunition and a silencer during the search, as well as cannabis.
The man, who is a patched member of the Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, failed to immediately surrender his firearms during the search warrant.
He was charged with possession of a trafficable quantity of firearms; a Category A longarm, a handgun, a silencer, ammunition, failure to immediately surrender firearms and firearm related items when a FPO was served, as well as possession of cannabis.
The man was bailed and will appear at the Hamilton Magistrates Court on April 20, 2022.
FPOs were introduced in 2018 and are used to help police respond to and prevent firearm-related crime in Victoria – police have issued more than 1200 FPOs in the past three years.
Echo Taskforce detective inspector, Dan Ryan said FPOs were a vital tool to keep the community safe and to keep violent offenders away from weapons.
“FPO’s are not issued only based on a person’s criminal history with firearms (but) are being issued to those people we know have a significant history of serious violent crime or who are linked to serious and organised crime groups,” he said.
“We know that the use of illicit firearms causes great concern in our regional communities, and this result highlights that those offenders in regional Victoria shouldn’t expect to go under the radar in any way.”
Once issued, an FPO remains in place for 10 years for adults and five years for children between the ages of 14-17.
The individual is prohibited from acquiring, possessing, carrying or using any firearm or firearm related items while the order remains in place - they are also unable to enter shooting ranges or firearm clubs, and are banned from firearm dealers.
The charges around breaching an FPO are serious, with perpetrators potentially facing 10 years imprisonment.
Western Region police inspector, Josh Tink said the arrests and seizure of a number of illicit firearms were a “great outcome” for the community.
“We know illicit firearms often heavily feature in some of our most serious and violent crimes,” he said.
“The local community can rest assured that police will continue to target those involved in the use and trade of these weapons, particularly through enforcement actions such as this.
“Taking a firearm out of the hands of a criminal, and making illicit firearms more difficult to obtain, are effective ways of preventing future offending and increasing public safety.”
Police also arrested a 52-year-old man who was at the property during the raid, in relation to an alleged road rage incident in Port Melbourne in March earlier this year.
He was charged with reckless conduct endangering injury and a number of other traffic offences and was bailed before he will appear at the Hamilton Magistrates Court on April 13, 2022.