Police have targeted alleged members of the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang in a series of dawn raids this morning.
The dawn raids took place on properties in Ballina, Evans Head, Goonellabah, Jacky Bulbin Flat, Grafton and Forster.
Richmond Local Area Command crime manager, Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay, said seven people had been arrested, with more arrests expected.
Insp Lindsay said police would allege that the president, sergeant-at-arms, vice president, and other members were among those arrested.
Police allege a 33-year-old man dealt drugs from a residence in Grant Street, Ballina. He is also alleged to have knowingly dealt in the proceeds of crime as well as participating in a criminal group.
A 46-year-old man allegedly dealt drugs from a residence in Evans Head. He also allegedly knowingly dealt in the proceeds of crime and participated in a criminal group.
A 28-year-old man from Jacky Bulbin also allegedly dealt a commercial quantity of prohibited drug as well as possessing prohibited and sawn-off firearms. He also allegedly participated in a criminal group.
A 25-year-old man from Goonellabah also allegedly dealt a prohibited drug.
A 32-year-old man and a 26-year-old man, both from Bangalow, were arrested yesterday (Monday 15 December 2014) in connection with these matters.
The 32-year-old man allegedly dealt a prohibited drug and possessed a number of prohibited and sawn-off firearms and the 26-year-old man allegedly possessed a number of prohibited and sawn-off firearms.
The search warrant undertaken at Jacky Bulbin Flat is still ongoing.
Police estimate potential street value of the drugs seized during the investigation at more than $400,000.
Several charges and bail determinations are still pending.
He said one arrest at Jacky Bulbin was particularly high risk, and so it was performed by the Tactical Response Group of police.
‘We allege this person was armed with shortened firearms and has a history of violence,’ he said.
Insp Lindsay said the members of the criminal group were ‘major’ players in the distribution of Ice and amphetamines in the region.
‘We allege they have connections nationally with this group (the Rebels) but this investigation centered on distribution of ice, which is insidious, in this region.
He said some charges included the commercial supply of drugs, along with firearms offences, and charges relating to home invasions.
‘This has been a long and tireless operation and investigation. It’s taken over 12 months to get to this point today.
Insp Lindsay had a simple message for outlaw motorcycle groups.
‘They are not welcome here and we will target them,’ he said.
‘These are not legitimate clubs but organised criminals who undertake illegal activities in contravention of state and council laws.’
‘Those involved in running these illegal activities should hand themselves in, as it’s only a matter of time before we identify and arrest them.
‘My officers and I are committed to ridding the area of organised crime and this operation sends a strong message that outlaw motorcycle gangs and their members are not welcome here.’
‘Ice is making a real, adverse impact in this area. It’s an insidious drug that we have to stamp out.’
Strike Force Badim is made up of investigators from the Richmond Local Area Command Drug Unit.
The strike force was formed in 2014, primarily to investigate the supply of methylamphetamine (Speed and Ice) by outlaw motorcycle gang members in the region.
Richmond LAC officers were assisted by the Dog Unit, Police Rescue Squad, Aviation Support Branch (PolAir), Tactical Operations Unit, Strike Force Raptor and investigators from neighbouring commands.