A licensed firearms dealer in New South Wales has been charged with more than 40 firearms offences and had more than 300 guns seized from his business in what NSW Police have described as one of the “most significant arrests in organised crime.”
- NSW Police seize 300 firearms from licensed gun dealer, who has been charged with 40 offences
- Dealer accused of being a ‘professional facilitator’ of organised crime networks across three states
- Accused has not applied for bail or entered a plea in court
Police arrested 46-year-old Shane Simpson at his Port Kembla gun shop yesterday, before conducting raids on two more premises at Jamberoo on the NSW South Coast and Penrose in the state’s Southern Highlands.
NSW State Crime Acting Commander Stuart Smith said detectives attached to Strike Force Myosoti have spent six months piecing together the “rigorous” investigation.
“We worked closely with the firearms registry and ballistics unit to get a positive match of a number of firearms,” he said.
“The anomaly that we found was only able to be discovered from rigorous auditing and cross-referencing in both this and other states by detectives.”
Police say during the course of their investigations so far, they have identified more than 300 pistols allegedly disposed of illegally by the firearms dealer.
About 30 firearms have since been recovered and linked to organised crime, including more than 20 pistols located at crime scenes in NSW.
Alleged ‘professional facilitator’ and ‘profit monger’
“This is probably one of the most significant arrests in organised crime,” Acting Commander Smith said.
“It takes a great deal of time to catch a professional facilitator of organised crime, we will allege he is a profit monger in terms of organised crime and that weapons that have been recovered have certainly been recovered from crime scenes including from gangland murders and other crimes in other states.”
Acting Commander Smith would not rule out further arrests.
The semi-automatic weapons are believed to have a street value of up to $30,000 each.
No bail application or plea
Mr Simpson did not appear in court and his lawyer, Patrick Schmidt, said his client was not applying for bail or entering a plea in the first mention of his case at Wollongong Local Court this afternoon.
Speaking outside the court, Mr Schmidt said his client will consider whether or not to apply for bail next week.
“There are a lot of charges, we are still discussing them, going over them,” Mr Schmidt said.
“They are serious charges my client is facing, we are looking into all aspects of the charges and then we will be going from there.”
‘Pretty intense, really’
Business owners along Wentworth Street in Port Kembla say the raid came completely out of the blue.
Travis Thompson, whose furniture store is two doors down from the gun shop, said it was a dramatic scene in a usually quiet street.
“It was pretty intense, really, I’ve never seen so many cops, I wasn’t even expecting it,” Mr Thompson said.
Henry Stevens, who owns a spear fishing and snorkelling business across the street, said he knew the accused and was surprised by what has transpired.