A Port Kembla firearms dealer is due to face court this morning after being charged with allegedly supplying firearms connected to two Sydney gangland murders, OMCG members, and other organised crime across Australia.
Police have released videos (below) of the arrest and their haul of dozens of guns.
Police will allege the 46-year-old legitimately acquired the firearms as stock, before altering the original identification on the firearms and disposing of them to people who are not authorised to possess them.
In November 2018, detectives from the State Crime Command's Drug and Firearms Squad established Strike Force Myosoti to investigate the movement of firearms between states and territories.
During the course of their investigations so far, they have identified more than 300 pistols that have allegedly been disposed of illegally by Shane Simpson.
About 30 firearms have since been recovered and linked to organised crime, including more than 20 pistols located at crime scenes in NSW, police said.
Numerous other firearms have been located at interstate crime scenes including two linked to organised crime investigations in South Australia and a clandestine drug laboratory in Queensland.
All seized firearms have undergone tracing by the ballistics unit to determine their origin and have been allegedly linked to the Port Kembla dealer.
Simpson was arrested at the Wentworth Street business on Wednesday morning.
Detectives subsequently executed a search warrant at the gun shop and two search warrants at homes in Jamberoo and Penrose.
During the searches, police say they located tools, forensic evidence, electronic devices and documentation relevant to the investigation. The items have been seized for forensic examination.
The Jamberoo man was charged with 47 offences, including;
- Supply pistol to person unauthorised to possess it (x 14)
- Alter/make s45 pistol record with intent to deceive (x 17)
- Licensed firearms dealer fail to keep labels and records req (x 11)
- Not keep firearm safely-not prohibited firearm/pistol (x 4), and
- Possess unregistered firearm-pistol
He was refused bail to appear at Wollongong Local Court this morning.
The maximum penalty for supplying a pistol to a person unauthorised to possess it is up to 20 years in prison and for altering a pistol record with intent to deceive is up to 14 years in prison.
State Crime Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith, said the Drug and Firearms Squad has aggressively targeted gun-related crime to disrupt the supply of illegal firearms.
"Historically, we have targeted the firearms trade stemming from stolen or imported guns, however, by taking a different approach, our detectives have uncovered a sophisticated method involving a licensed firearms dealer illicitly turning legal firearms into a black-market weapon," Acting Assistant Commissioner Smith said.
"In light of current world events, Strike Force Myosoti detectives will continue their work to prevent any further opportunity for firearms to be diverted into the hands of a criminal.
"We know one firearm in the hands of the wrong person can be lethal, and knowingly supplying a firearm to someone who is not authorised to possess it is just as bad as pulling the trigger.
"The work to date has involved a close working relationship with Firearms Registries throughout Australia.
"This is by no means the end - we will be speaking with our colleagues in other jurisdictions to make changes and prevent this vulnerability occurring in the future," Acting Assistant Commissioner Smith said.
Investigations under Strike Force Myosoti continue.