Illawarra man charged with drug, firearms, traffic offences uncovered as part of Unanderra murder investigation

A man will appear in court today charged with drug, firearms and traffic offences uncovered as part of ongoing investigations into the alleged murder of a man in the Illawarra region last year.

Police and emergency services were called to Carr Parade, Unanderra, about 2.15am on Wednesday 14 February 2018, following reports of a drive-by shooting.

On arrival, officers from Lake Illawarra Police District found a man suffering a gunshot wound and conducted CPR until NSW Ambulance paramedics arrived; however, the man died at the scene.

The man was formally identified as 33-year-old local, Nathan Costello.

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad and Lake Illawarra Police District established Strike Force Gangele to investigate the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

During the course of the investigation, strike force investigators identified links to an alleged drug supply syndicate operating in the Lake Illawarra area.

As part of those inquiries, two Firearms Prohibition Order (FPO) searches were conducted at homes on Bracken Way and Tamarind Place at Barrack Heights on Thursday 26 April 2018.

During the searches, police located more than 200 rounds of ammunition, a rifle scope, drug paraphernalia, and cash.

Strike Force investigators also seized a Mercedes C63 from a business at Fairy Meadow in September 2018 and an Audi A5 from a home at Koonawarra in June 2018, which are allegedly proceeds of crime.

Following extensive inquiries, a 27-year-old man was arrested at a correctional facility at Silverwater yesterday (Monday 9 September 2019).

He was charged with possess ammunition without holding licence, acquire ammunition subject to prohibition order, do act intending to pervert the course of justice (x2), supply prohibited drug (large commercial quantity), supply prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis, knowingly deal with proceeds of crime intent to conceal, knowingly direct activities of criminal group, and police pursuit – not stop – drive dangerously.

Police will allege in court that the man was involved in the supply of more than 4kg of methylamphetamine between April 2018 and February 2019.

It will be further alleged that the man – who was a disqualified driver at the time – was involved in a police pursuit on Mount Ousley Road, Cataract, on Wednesday 26 September 2018.

The Barrack Heights man was refused bail to appear via audio visual link at Wollongong Court today (Tuesday 10 September 2019).

Investigations are continuing, and further arrests are expected.

A 33-year-old man has previously been charged over the alleged murder. He remains before the courts.

Police are urging anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Gangele detectives 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 social media pages.

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