Firearm Prohibition Order police blitz

Detective Senior Sergeant Trevor Vondrasek of the Latrobe Crime Investigation Unit said Operation Poseidon was successful. Photo: Zaida Glibanovic

Zaida Glibanovic

IMITATION firearms, ammunition, drugs, cash and stolen property have been seized, and five people were arrested, as police conducted a major operation across the Latrobe Valley earlier this month.

In Operation Poseidon, Latrobe Crime Investigation Unit detectives and Crime Command’s VIPER Taskforce knocked on the doors of 20 homes between Tuesday, February 6 and Thursday, February 8.

During the course of the operation, police conducted 19 Firearm Prohibition Order (FPO) searches and a drug warrant across Gippsland.

The FPO scheme operates together with the existing prohibited person scheme to protect the community, and reduce firearm-related crime by targeting those who want to possess, use or carry firearms for unlawful purposes.

The police conducted 19 FPO searches within the region, with the special VIPER Taskforce utilised to help local investigators search properties quickly and effectively.

Throughout the operation, police seized trafficable quantities of GHB and other drugs, including cannabis and methylamphetamine.

Police also found various imitation firearms and cartridge ammunition, property allegedly stolen from burglaries including e-bikes, bank cards and copper wire, cash and a vehicle allegedly used in an evade.

A 32-year-old Morwell man was arrested and charged with 10 offences including reckless conduct endangering life, evade police, unlicensed driving, possessing a drug of dependence, handling stolen goods and hindering police.

The charges relate to an incident on Southern Road, Traralgon where police observed a silver Ford Falcon sedan at about 2.45am on Sunday, February 4.

Police approached the vehicle before the driver allegedly accelerated and sped away from the scene. The alleged driver was seen travelling on the wrong side of the road and incorrectly through a roundabout. The man has subsequently been bailed to appear at Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, May 2.

On February 6, police executed a FPO search at a home in Newborough, seizing an imitation firearm and ammunition. Police said charges were expected to be laid against a 66-year-old man.

On February 7, detectives conducted an FPO search at a property in Morwell.

During the search, detectives allegedly located property that was stolen during an aggravated burglary – about $2500 cash, cannabis and methylamphetamine.

A 37-year-old Morwell man was arrested and charged with 11 offences, including handling stolen goods, dealing with the proceeds of crime and possessing methylamphetamine. He was bailed to appear at the Latrobe Valley Magistrates Court on Wednesday, May 1.

Detective Senior Sergeant, Trevor Vondrasek of the Latrobe Crime Investigation Unit, said Operation Poseidon was successful.

“These operations keep the heat on those prohibited from possessing a firearm due to their criminal history and associations,” he said.

Police are also urging the public to call the Latrobe Crime Investigation Unit, their local police station, or Crime Stoppers if they have any information on illegal firearms.