Detectives from the Geelong Firearms Prohibition team, Crime Command and the Public Order Response Team have arrested 18 people and seized multiple firearms, firearm related items and weapons in the Geelong area as part of Operation Shield.
Operation Shield, which over the past two weeks, saw a number of Firearm Prohibition Orders (FPO’s) served and current FPO subjects searched to locate and seize any illegal firearms or firearm related items.
Police executed 29 FPO compliance searches between Tuesday 16 February and Friday 26 February, while also serving six new FPO’s on people with serious and violent criminal histories.
Throughout the operation, police arrested 18 people and charged them with a range of offences including FPO subject in possession of a firearm, possession of a prohibited weapon, possess drugs of dependence, cultivate a narcotic plant, breach of bail, handling stolen goods and committing an indictable offence while on bail.
Four firearms, five imitation firearms, ammunition and 21 other prohibited weapons including knives, swords, knuckledusters and tasers were seized as part of the operation.
Police also seized over 50 grams of methamphetamine from several addresses, as well as narcotic plants and other drugs of dependence.
On Tuesday 16 February, a 39-year-old Alfredton man was arrested following an FPO compliance check and charged with possession of a shotgun, possession of ammunition and 50 charges of handling stolen goods after committing offences in the Geelong area.
Police seized the shotgun, ammunition and around $100,000 of stolen property from the man’s address, including a campervan, motorbike and identity cards. Police will allege the items were stolen in a range of burglaries throughout the Geelong area and Broadmeadows since October 2020. He was remanded to appear at the Geelong Magistrates Court on 16 March 2021.
A 39-year-old Grovedale man was also arrested following an FPO compliance check on Tuesday 23 February and charged with possession of an imitation firearm, possession of a firearm related item, possession of GHB, cultivation of a narcotic plant and three charges of possession of a drug of dependence.
Police seized a double barrel shotgun, an imitation handgun, an expandable baton, cattle prod, laser pointer, GHB, cannabis plants, cannabis and methylamphetamine. He was remanded to appear at the Geelong Magistrates Court on 9 April 2021.
Quote attributed to Detective Acting Sergeant Brendan O’Mahoney, Geelong Firearms Prohibition team:
“We make absolutely no apologies for regularly checking on those people within our community who police have deemed are too dangerous to possess a firearm.”
“There are serious potential repercussions associated with breaching an FPO, with a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years. If those subject to an active FPO are willing to roll the dice by possessing a firearm or ammunition and think they won’t get caught, they should think again.”
“We will continue to run regular operations such as this to seize firearms and other weapons from violent and dangerous people, ensuring Geelong’s streets are safe and we avoid the tragedies resulting from gun crime.”