Riverina drug syndicate dismantled by SCC Gangs Squad and Wagga police
Thursday, 09 March 2017 12:14:33 AM
Police have charged 13 people, including members of the Finks outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG), and their associates, as part of an investigation into drug supply in the state’s south.
Detectives from State Crime Command’s Gangs Squad established Strike Force Hun last year to target the activities of the Finks OMCG and their associates in the Riverina area.
In December 2016, police seized half a kilo of methylamphetamine, an ounce of cocaine, and cash during a vehicle stop at Forest Hill.
The 44-year-old male driver – a high-ranking member of the Finks OMCG – was arrested and charged with drug supply and knowingly deal with the proceeds of crime. He remains before the court.
Following extensive inquiries, a high-visibility operation commenced on Tuesday (7 March 2017), involving the Gangs Squad and Strike Force Raptor, Wagga Wagga Local Area Command, the Public Order and Riot Squad, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, and the Dog Unit.
As part of the operation, police executed 13 search warrants at properties at Kooringal, Tolland, East Wagga Wagga, Ashmont, Glenfield Park, Bomen, and Turvey Park.
In addition, three Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) were served at properties at Tolland, Coolamon, and Cartwrights Hill.
During these searches, investigators located and seized registered firearms (FPO), replica firearms, a rifle scope, firearm magazines, various calibres of ammunition, speed loaders, bullet proof vests, knuckle dusters, handcuffs, mobile phones, SIM cards, Finks OMCG patches and paraphernalia, methylamphetamine (ice), cannabis, prescription medication, drug ledgers, and various drug paraphernalia.
A number of other items, including a white crystalline substance, tablets, and brown powder, were seized for forensic analysis.
A clandestine laboratory was uncovered at the Ashmont property, which was dismantled by specialist officers from the Drug Squad’s Chemical Operations Team.
In total, nine men and four women were arrested and charged with various offences, including drug supply, firearm and weapon possession, assault, blackmail, stealing a dog, and participate in a criminal group.
Gangs Squad Coordinator, Detective Inspector John Walke, said police operations will continue to be conducted across the state to stop OMCG members undertaking illegal activity.
“The Gangs Squad conduct investigations into criminal activity wherever they’re occurring in NSW, which is greatly assisted by the high-impact, pro-active response of Strike Force Raptor,” Det Insp Walke said.
“By working side-by-side with local police, we are achieving great results and reducing the impact of OMCG and their associated criminal enterprises.
“In addition to targeting drug and firearm offences, which can lead to violence and retribution, we will look at every aspect of possible criminality, including traffic offences, bail compliance, firearm and security licensing, tax evasion, and illegal business practices,” Det Insp Walke said.
Wagga Wagga Local Area Commander, Superintendent Bob Noble, said the operation demonstrates the commitment of police to reducing criminal activity within the local community.
“With the support of specialist police, including the Gangs Squad, we will continue to target OMCG and other criminal groups attempting to conduct illegal business in the region,” Supt Noble said.
“The cultivation and manufacture of illicit drugs will not be tolerated, and those caught supplying these substances will be put before the courts.
“We will also maintain a focus 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,” Supt Noble said.
While the operation is expected to conclude today (Thursday 9 March 2017), investigations are ongoing.
Police are urging anyone with information in relation drug supply to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.