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Police seize 15 firearms and charge four men as part of investigation into illicit firearm supply

Tuesday, 20 December 2022 04:00:43 AM

Wetherill Park Region Enforcement Squad (RES) have seized 15 firearms and charged four men as part of investigations into the illicit supply of firearms and prohibited drugs across Sydney.

In April this year, investigators from Wetherill Park RES commenced an investigation into the supply of illicit firearms and prohibited drugs across Sydney’s south-west.

Police are also being assisted by the NSW Crime Commission.

As part of investigations, police seized 15 firearms, including a prohibited 9mm submachine pistol, an SKS semi-automatic machine rifle, pump-action shotguns, various rifles, handguns and about 700 rounds of various calibre ammunition.

The firearms have since undergone forensic and ballistic analysis.

Initial examinations suggest the firearms have either been stolen, manufactured without registration, illegally imported or have origins unknown.

Following further extensive investigations, Wetherill Park RES officers, with assistance from Bankstown RES, South West Metropolitan Region Operations Support Group (OSG) and the Raptor Squad, executed five search warrants Chester Hill, Fairfield East, Guildford, and Carlingford from about 6am yesterday (Monday 19 December 2022).

During the searches, police seized more than $10,000 cash, 1L of clear liquid (suspected to be GBL), 1kg benzocaine, 180g cocaine, cannabis, a locked safe, a drug ledger, multiple mobile phones, two electronic control devices, a prohibited slingshot, knuckle dusters, a machete, fireworks, three vehicles and other items relevant to the investigation.

In total throughout the investigation, police have seized 760g cocaine, which has an estimated potential street value of more than $300,000.

Three men were arrested during the operation and taken to Cabramatta Police Station.

A 34-year-old Chester Hill man was charged with 33 offences, including unlawfully sell firearms 3 times or more within 12 months, supply pistol to person unauthorised to possess it, supply prohibited firearm to unauthorised person, supply firearm to person unauthorised to possess it, supply, unauthorised supply of pistol part, give ammunition to person not authorised, and deal with property proceeds of crime.

A 24-year-old Chester Hill man was charged with 50 offences, including unlawfully sell firearms 3 times or more within 12 months, sell prohibited weapon to person without permit, supply pistol to person unauthorised to possess it, supply prohibited firearm to unauthorised person, unauthorised supply of pistol part; supply, give ammunition to person not authorised, acquire firearm no licence or permit-prohibited firearm, drive motor vehicle while licence suspended, deal with property proceeds of crime, possess or use a prohibited weapon without permit, and prohibited drug supply.

A 30-year-old Fairfield West man was charged with 22 offences, including supply pistol to person unauthorised to possess it, supply prohibited firearm to unauthorised person, possess or use a prohibited weapon without permit, possess prohibited drug, deal with property proceeds of crime, supply prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis and prohibited drug supply.

Police will allege in court that the group were facilitating the illicit acquisition and on-supply of firearms.

Further, it’s alleged the group was involved in the ongoing supply of prohibited drugs.

They have all been refused bail to appear at Fairfield Local Court today (Tuesday 20 December 2022).

A 35-year-old Horningsea Park man was issued a Court Attendance Notice last Thursday (15 December 2022) for possess prohibited drug and is due to appear at Fairfield Local Court on Wednesday 15 February 2023.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information about the illicit supply of firearms and other criminal activity in the community 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.