Police charge man after more than 700 guns seized in NSW Central

More than 700 firearms have been seized, and a registered gun dealer has been charged, as part of an ongoing Strike Force Raptor investigation into the supply of prohibited drugs and firearms across NSW.

In June 2018, investigators from the Criminal Groups Squad’s Strike Force Raptor commenced an investigation into the supply of prohibited drugs and firearms across the state.

As part of their ongoing inquiries, investigators attended a property in The Marra and arrested a 69-year-old man, about 9.10am yesterday (Tuesday 16 June 2020).

A short time later, Strike Force Raptor investigators, assisted by officers from Western Region Operations Support Group (OSG) and the Firearms Registry, executed a search warrant at a home at Nyngan.

During the search, officers located more than 700 firearms – including 11 unregistered guns.

The man, who is a registered gun dealer, was taken to Nyngan Police Station and charged with 28 offences including;

  • Not keep firearm safely (x8),
  • possess unregistered firearm (x4),
  • supply firearm to person unauthorised to possess it (x3),
  • supply unregistered firearm – not prohibited firearm/pistol (x3),
  • supply, give ammunition to person not authorised, (x2)
  • supply, give ammunition not view licence, permit (x2)
  • fail to keep record of ammunition transactions (x2),
  • use, supply, acquire or possess defaced firearm,
  • use, supply etc stolen firearm or firearm part,
  • possess unregistered firearm – not prohibited firearm/pistol,
  • sell military-style weapon buyer no authority.

It will be alleged in court that the man was selling a number of prohibited weapons, unregistered firearms and ammunition on an ongoing basis.

He was refused bail to appear at Dubbo Local Court today (Wednesday 17 June 2020).

As a result of the charges, the man’s Firearms Dealer Licence was suspended and all firearms located at the property, both registered and unregistered, were seized for forensic examination.

Criminal Groups Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Robert Critchlow, said this arrest and significant seizure of firearms sends a strong message to those in the illegal gun trade.

“Yesterday’s successful operation in the state’s Central West is a result of an ongoing 18-month investigation into criminal activity and specifically in this case, the supply of prohibited firearms,” Det Supt Critchlow said.

“Police will allege that this man, who is a registered gun dealer, was selling firearm parts and prohibited modified weapons – including a make-shift rocket launcher.

“NSW Police support safe and legal firearm ownership, however, those responsible for illegally dealing guns for the purpose of criminal activity, will be investigated, arrested and put before the courts,” Det Supt Critchlow said.

So far, this investigation has resulted in 30 arrests and the seizure of the following items;

  • More than 730 firearms (including military assault rifles, semi-automatic pistols, shotguns and rifles)
  • Assorted prohibited weapons (including ballistic vests, a smoke bomb, batons, handcuffs and silencers)
  • Thousands of rounds of assorted ammunition
  • 14.3kgs of MDMA
  • 56kgs of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL)
  • 5.9kg of ephedrine
  • 3.1kg of methylamphetamine (ice)
  • 901g of heroin
  • 425g of amphetamine
  • 26 cannabis plants

Investigations by Strike Force Raptor detectives are continuing.

Strike Force Raptor was established in 2009 and conducts proactive investigations and intelligence-based, high-impact policing operations to prevent and disrupt conflicts, and dismantle any network engaged in serious organised criminal activity.

Anyone with information, including relevant photos and videos, that may assist Strike Force Raptor can report it directly to investigators via the Strike Force Raptor online reporting page: https://www1.police.nsw.gov.au/Default.aspx?id=49 or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Information provided to investigators will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

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