Man charged after raid on Derwent Valley property

AN alleged outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) member from southern Tasmania is facing multiple charges following a raid on a Derwent Valley property as part of a national week of police action as part of Taskforce Morpheus. Involving more than 2000 police officers around the country, the week of action led to 159 arrests, 693 charges, the seizure of 43 firearms, 22 weapons, varying drugs in various quantities and about $1 million in cash seized and 11 vehicles.

“With a particular focus on drugs, firearms, weapons and explosives, jurisdictions around Australia proactively targeted their own highest priority OMCG issues, with concentrated disruption, enforcement and compliance activities undertaken,” a Tasmania Police spokesperson said today.

“In Tasmania, targeted operations were led by Tasmania Police’s crime and intelligence command, supported by specialist areas including CIBs, dog handlers, and firearms experts from around the state,” they said.

“The search of the 56-year-old man’s Derwent Valley property last week also involved Australian Federal Police. A traffickable quantity of drugs, two stolen motor vehicles, two illegal replica firearms, cash and a significant amount of stolen property was located.”

Tasmania Police assistant commissioner Rob Blackwood said police worked with partner agencies to target and disrupt OMCG activities because of they were a threat to community safety. “Strong laws banning consorting and the wearing of OMCG colours were introduced in Tasmania in 2018 and this has been significant in helping us disrupt their effect on the wider community,” Mr Blackwood said.

Established in 2014, Taskforce Morpheus is a national working group established under the Serious and Organised Crime Co-ordination Committee. It connects federal, state and territory law enforcement agencies to provide a national response to outlaw motorcycle gangs operating across domestic and international borders.

“Anyone with information about OMCG activity is urged to contact police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers Tasmania at crimestopperstas.com.au. You can stay anonymous,” Mr Blackwood said.

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