Former firearms dealer charged over his role in a criminal network, NSW

A former firearms dealer has been charged with more than 100 offences as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged organised criminal activity across Sydney, NSW Police say.

In November 2015, the Criminal Groups Squad’s Strike Force Raptor commenced an investigation into the activities of an organised criminal network operating across Sydney.

The investigation was expanded in 2016 to include detectives from the Homicide Squad and the Drug and Firearms Squad.

As such, Strike Force Ayle was formed under the National Organised Crime Response Plan to oversight the strategic targeting of the group and its hierarchy.

As part of their extensive inquiries, Strike Force Ayle, assisted by ballistic experts from the Forensic Evidence and Technical Services Command, executed a crime scene warrant at a property at Seaham on Wednesday 7 February 2018.

Police seized a number of prohibited and replica firearms, documentation, and various items relevant to the investigation.

Following further inquiries, investigators attended and issued revocation of firearms licences to a 40-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman on Thursday 12 April 2018.

Investigators executed a search warrant and seized more than 1180 firearms, which included unregistered and prohibited firearms and weapons, many of which were allegedly not stored safely.

The woman was charged with holder of Category A or B licence not have approved storage. She remains before the courts.

The firearms subsequently underwent forensic and ballistic examination.

Following further investigations, the 40-year-old man was arrested at Parramatta Police Station at 3pm on Wednesday 5 September 2018.

He was charged with 101 offences, including participate in a criminal group, hinder discovery evidence re: serious indictable offence, and various firearms offences.

Police will allege in court that the man knowingly repaired and altered ballistic identification on a firearm which was used in serious indictable offences by the criminal network.

The Seaham man was refused bail and appeared at Parramatta Local Court on Thursday 6 September 2018, where he was granted strict conditional bail to re-appear at the same court on Tuesday 18 September 2018.

Two men – aged 26 and 33 – were previously charged over their alleged roles in the firearms supply. They remain before the court.

To date, Strike Force Ayle and related investigations have led to the arrest of more than 70 people, who were charged with more than 650 offences, including drug and firearm possession, manufacture, and supply; explosives possession, money laundering, perverting the course of justice, fraud, intimidation, kidnappings, assaults, public place shootings, and murders.

In addition, police have previously seized 95 firearms and more than 12,600 rounds of ammunition.

Investigations are ongoing and further arrests and charges are expected.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to organised criminal activity to call Crime Stoppers.

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