Seven arrested and three firearms seized as operations under Taskforce Erebus continue

Police have seized three firearms and arrested seven people, as operations to prevent and disrupt serious criminal activity across New South Wales under Taskforce Erebus continue.

Earlier this week, the NSW Police Force, in partnership with the NSW Crime Commission, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and Australian Federal Police (AFP), established Taskforce Erebus to investigate a spate of recent murders and other serious organised crime.

The Taskforce is being led by State Crime Command (SCC) under the National Organised Crime Response Plan and will include an additional 60 full-time investigators from NSW Police, as well as detectives, analysts, and other resources as part of a bolstered multi-agency response.

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said operational activity under Task Force Erebus is underway, with a specific focus on members and associates of organised criminal networks, including outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs).

“We established Taskforce Erebus earlier this week in response to the recent violence which has plagued south-west Sydney and it was made clear arrests would swiftly follow,” Commissioner Webb said.

“This morning, we have executed a number search warrants and as a result, seized numerous firearms and arrested seven people for a range of serious offences – all allegedly members or associates of OMCGs.

“I want the community to be reassured operations under Erebus have a long way to go, and we will inflict further damage on these criminal networks in the days and weeks to come,” Commissioner Webb said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole said there were no signs of police slowing down when it comes to tackling organised crime.

“These arrests are just the tip of the iceberg. Police will be in their face, disrupting their lives every second of the day,” Mr Toole said.

“Make no mistake; these are not ordinary people living ordinary lives. They are violent criminals and deserve to be locked up.”

Significant operational activity under Task Force Erebus includes;

  • As part of high-visibility patrols, officers from Raptor Squad’s Highway Patrol stopped a Mercedes on Bruce Street, Brighton-Le-Sands, about 2.30pm yesterday (Monday 16 May 2022) for the purpose of a Firearms Prohibition Order search. The 36-year-old man, who is a member of the Comanchero OMCG, was breath tested then subjected to an oral fluid test, allegedly returning a positive result for methylamphetamine and cocaine. He was arrested and underwent a secondary test before being prohibited from driving for 24-hours. Further, the man was issued a number of Traffic Infringement Notices and his vehicle was red label defected.
  • From 6am today (Tuesday 17 May 2022), officers from the State Crime Command’s Criminal Groups Squad and Australian Federal Police (AFP) executed a number of search warrants and Firearm Prohibition Order (FPO) searches at homes in Wrights Beach, Worrigee, North Nowra, Warrawong, Wollongong, and Kearsley. Two men – both aged 26 and one of whom is the Sergeant at Arms of the South Coast chapter of the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG), the other an associate – were arrested at Wrights Beach and Worrigee and have been charged with a number of commercial drug supply and proceeds of crime offences. Police will allege each man supplied more than 2kg of MDMA and more than 700 grams of cocaine using the ‘ANOM’ application between September 2020 and June 2021. Both were refused bail and appeared at Nowra Local Court today, where they were formally refused bail to reappear the same court on Tuesday 12 July 2022. As part of the operation, a number of other members and associates of the chapter were spoken with and served consorting bans.
  • About 7am today, Raptor Squad officers executed a number of search warrants at homes in Blaxlands Ridge, Glossodia, Wilberforce, and Blacktown on associates of the Rebels OMCG. Three men, aged 26, 23, and 32, and a 21-year-old woman were arrested and taken to local police stations. During a subsequent search of a home in Blaxlands Ridge, police seized a shotgun and a 9mm Glock pistol. A 26-year-old man has since been charged with twelve offences, including four counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception, two counts of possess ammunition without holding licence or permit or authority, possess prohibited drug, possess or use a prohibited weapon without permit, two counts of not keep firearm safely – prohibited firearm, possess unauthorised prohibited firearm, and possess unregistered firearm – pistol. He was refused bail to appear at Windsor Local Court tomorrow. A 32-year-old man was charged with six counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception. He was refused bail and appeared at Blacktown Local Court today. The other man and woman have both been charged with fraud offences and were each granted conditional bail to appear at Windsor Local Court next month.
  • About 10am today, operatives from the Tactical Operations Unit (TOU) arrested a 31-year-old man at a home at Schofields over his alleged role in the shooting of another man in Sydney’s north-west earlier this month. Police will allege that during that incident, which occurred about 9pm on Tuesday 10 May 2022, a 37-year-old man was found inside a home at Londonderry suffering gunshot wounds to both of his legs. The injured man taken to Westmead Hospital for treatment and has since been released. An extensive search of the area was conducted with the assistance of the Dog Unit and PolAir, which led to the discovery of a loaded 9mm pistol and several other items of interest in nearby bushland. Additionally, Raptor Squad investigators located a white Isuzu utility on Carrington Road. All items seized underwent forensic and ballistic examinations. The man has since been taken to Riverstone Police Station and charged with discharge firearms intend cause grievous bodily harm, special aggravated break and enter commit serious indict offence – inflict grievous bodily harm, and acquire pistol-subject to firearms prohibition order. Police will allege in court the man – who is a member of the Finks OMCG – was responsible for the shooting at Londonderry earlier this month. The Schofields man was refused bail to appear at Blacktown Local Court tomorrow (Wednesday 18 May 2022).

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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