It took a former Illawarra Brothers 4 Life leader weeks of planning to lure his heavily-tattooed rival into the open and have him gunned down.
Damien Featherstone was on parole in 2017 when he started putting the wheels in motion to have Troy Fornaciari shot - who was the leader of the Illawarra chapter of the Finks outlaw motorcycle gang at the time.
Featherstone had the guns, the bullets, and a trusted right-hand man to settle the score.
They even organised a car to get there. But who forgot to fill it with petrol? An empty tank and a flat tyre meant the plans never came to fruition.
Fornaciari, albeit in prison, is still very much alive. Five years later, Featherstone, now 35, has pleaded guilty to a raft of offences related to the failed plot.
Investigators under Strike Force Rednap had been investigating the rivalries between the Brothers 4 Life gang - started by convicted murderer Bassam Hamzy in 2007 - and the Finks OMCG.
Tendered court documents state Featherstone and several of his associates tried to assault Fornaciari in October 2017 however the former Finks bikie made a graceful escape by running straight through a Colourbond fence.
The exact reason for Featherstone's animosity against the colourful former bikie is unknown - however it only grew after he believed Finks members - posing as pizza delivery drivers - had been sent to his house while he was locked up. (The tactic had apparently been used by BFL in the past to raise people from their homes and have them shot.)
Investigators gathered evidence from recorded jail calls which confirmed Featherstone had been directing gang members to peddle drugs and carry out assaults to cement the group's violent reputation.
Featherstone's dislike of Fornaciari became obvious to detectives, who heard him in calls referring to him only by a series of nicknames including "panda", "f--- face" and "rat".
It was two days before Christmas 2017, Featherstone had just been released on parole from Bathurst jail, and Fornaciari was number one on his hit list.
But there were few people Featherstone could trust to get the job done. Court documents reveal fellow ex-B4L member, Andrew Coe, had been called to action.
Coe was serving the last two weeks of a jail term when he and Featherstone were recorded discussing their "panda" problem.
"Little mongrel won't come out of his nest," Featherstone told Coe in a call on January 13, 2018.
"F--- me dead he is hiding the motherf-----. Me and the boys have gone hunting three or four times."
When Coe was released, the pair immediately began organising firearms and ammunition, with codewords like "snotty" (pig latin for shotty) and "gat" used when referring to them.
"I have snottys around the corner and gats ready, let's rock and roll," Featherstone told Coe on January 24, 2018.
'I've got two bullets I'll go put them straight through his chest," Featherstone said later that night.
Conversations were heard about Coe arranging to shoot Fornaciari by luring him out of the North Wollongong clubhouse and ambushing him in the Wollongong CBD.
And the grand plan almost came to fruition on January 28, but the car Coe was driving had a flat tyre and was running out of petrol, causing Featherstone to question Coe's commitment.
"It's going to happen, I'm keen bro," Coe reassured.
Investigators claim Coe had every intention of carrying out the act however the botched mode of transport ultimately foiled their plans.
Police raided the Finks clubhouse and arrested Fornaciari on unrelated charges on February 1. He disclosed to police he believed he was on the B4L's hit list.
Featherstone's address was searched later that night, with two guns uncovered. He caught wind that his unit was being raided and fled to Canberra, where he was arrested on a number of serious unrelated offences committed there.
Featherstone spent five years behind bars in the ACT before he was extradited back to NSW earlier this year.
He faced Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday where he pleaded guilty to conspiring to discharge a firearm causing grievous bodily harm, drug supply and knowingly directing a criminal group.
Featherstone will be sentenced later this year.
Read the latest Illawarra court and crime stories here.
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