Western Sydney man arrested over gun and drug imports

A 48-year-old Sydney man has been charged over the importation of AR-15 rifle parts and methamphetamine into Australia through the postal system.

The man was arrested as part of a joint agency investigation launched in February 2020 when Australian Border Force (ABF) officers examined a package from the United States. The package contained pieces for an AR-15 firearm concealed inside a Bluetooth speaker.

The NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team began an investigation into the importation due to potential links to people of interest with extremist ideology. The investigation ultimately identified a number of people of interest with suspected links to organised crime.

On 9 April 2020, the ABF examined a consignment containing an air compressor and found approximately 495 grams of methamphetamine concealed inside. This concealment was found to be linked to the NSW JCTT Investigation into the AR-15 parts.

A 33-year-old Georges Hall man was arrested on 30 April 2020 over his alleged involvement in the methamphetamine seizure. He was charged with importing a marketable quantity of border controlled drugs and is next scheduled to appear in Sydney Central Local Court on 18 November 2020.

Ongoing investigations resulted in NSW JCTT investigators executing four search warrants in western Sydney yesterday (14 October), where a 48-year-old man from Merrylands was charged with one count of importation of prohibited items, namely firearm parts, contrary to section 233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901 (Cth) and importing a marketable quantity of border controlled drugs, contrary to section 307.2 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).

During the execution of the search warrants, police seized two additional complete firearms – one Smith and Wesson 40-Calibre pistol and one SCCY 9mm pistol. Investigations are continuing into the origin of these weapons. Approximately $27,000 in cash and a number of high-value watches were also seized, which police will allege are the proceeds of crime.