A Port Kembla firearms dealer has been arrested, and more than 300 weapons seized from his business, after he allegedly sold guns police say were used to shoot dead at least one Sydney underworld figure.
Shane Simpson was taken into custody after officers raided his firearms and hunting store - Simpson Sports, on the corner of Wentworth and Fitzwilliam streets - about 8.30am on Wednesday.
The Mercury understands police arrested the 46-year-old licensed firearms dealer as he opened the gate to begin the day's trade.
Simpson was taken to Lake Illawarra police station, where he was still being questioned by detectives late on Wednesday.
He was expected to be charged with more than a dozen offences.
It has been reported Simpson flooded the black market with high-powered weapons.
Police allege he was the mastermind in a scheme, and claimed he would complete dodgy paperwork to sell guns under the radar and to people without firearms licences.
It is understood guns Simpson allegedly sold were used used in high-end crime, including one of Sydney's most notorious gangland murders and drive-by shootings in other states.
Reportedly after selling the guns, Simpson is accused of altering and falsifying documents, which were then sent to the NSW Firearms Registry.
It's alleged he did that to ensure there was no record of where the guns ended up.
Dozens of police - including detectives and specialist officers - spent all of Wednesday seizing hundreds of firearms held at Simpson's business.
The shop itself was declared a crime scene. Two people who arrived trying to buy guns were met by police officers at the door and turned away. The police presence also turned the heads of many passersby.
Plain-clothed officers were seen looking at the surrounding area, including nearby businesses.
The NSW Police State Crime Command's drug and firearms squad led the investigation, assisted by police from the firearms registry.
The Mercury understands the dealer was stripped of his firearms licence, and about 340 guns were to be seized by police.
By 2.30pm, six hours after Simpson's arrest, only about 30 guns had been removed from the business.
The crime scene was expected to remain in place into the evening, and possibly be guarded on Wednesday night, as police continued the laborious task of processing the firearms and ammunition.
Simpson is expected to face Wollongong Local Court on Thursday.
In 2015, Simpson escaped a criminal conviction for allowing one of his employees to run the store without a proper licence.