Police arrested 45 people, seized eight firearms, a hydraulic press and more than 20kg of MDMA and other prohibited drugs during statewide raids targeting organised crime under Operation Hawk last week.
About 10am on Wednesday May 25 officers from Murrumbidgee Police District executed a search warrant at a home in Darlington Point. Police located and seized 1.2kg of cannabis, more than $30,000 cash, ammunition, mobile phones, prohibited weapons and a safe. Inquiries are continuing and charges are expected to be laid.
With assistance from the Riverina Police District Proactive Crime Team, a 28-year old man was also arrested at Turvey Park in Wagga Wagga on the same day.
A short time later, an FPO search was executed at the property he was residing at on Panaroma Street, Kooringal, where police seized prohibited drugs, prescribed restricted substances and fireworks.
A shotgun and ammunition which police will allege was not stored properly was also seized.
The man was charged with firearm found at premises subject to prohibition order, two counts of possess prohibited drug, and goods suspected stolen in/on premises.
Police from across State Crime Command and South West Metropolitan Region established Strike Force Hawk to target and disrupt organised criminal networks operating in Sydney.
Since that time, police have conducted several proactive operations which have led to the seizure of more than 80 firearms and 3300 rounds of ammunition, $2.8 million cash, and prohibited drugs with a combined estimated potential street value in excess of $9 million.
Statewide Hawk Commander, Detective Superintendent Jason Weinstein, said the operation followed the success of its predecessor earlier this year, but with a renewed focus on the state’s regions.
“This week we’ve succeeded in demobilising a significant drug supply syndicate operating from Sydney’s south-west, but also know the tentacles of illicit activity stretch far beyond our cities,” Det Supt Weinstein said.
“NSW attracts around 40 per cent of Australia’s national organised crime population many of whom attempt to evade the attention of police by operating outside of the Sydney metropolitan area.
“The sale of prohibited drugs in NSW is a lucrative market worth at least $3.7bn per year at a street level, and a root cause of the violent spate of murders we’ve recently seen.
“These arrests send a clear message to anyone involved in organised crime: that we are aware of your illicit activities and will hold you accountable irrespective of your location,” Det Supt Weinstein said.
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.
This article appeared in the Narrandera Argus, 2 June 2022.