Semi-automatic rifle hidden in Cessnock cave

POLICE from the State Crime Command have swooped on a remote property west of Cessnock and seized firearms, including a semi-automatic rifle and a barrel of ammunition found inside a small cave.

The command’s Firearms and Organised Crime Squad, acting on a tip-off, searched the Putty Valley Road property on Friday.

The squad’s responsibilities include the manufacture and trafficking of illicit firearms, including military style-weapons, and organised crime groups who use firearms.

Police said the three guns found belonged to a dead man and firearms charges would not be pursued.

It is unclear why the elite Sydney-based squad, instead of local Hawkesbury police, travelled to the property to collect the weapons.

A statement said the three guns would undergo ballistics testing and tracing before being destroyed.

Inside a small shack, police found a semi-automatic .223 calibre US carbine rifle and a loaded semi-automatic Winchester 12-gauge shotgun. 

They also found ammunition and magazines for the weapons.

Officers also searched an escarpment and  small caves on the property. Inside one cave they found a Ruger semi-automatic rifle, along with ammunition in a plastic barrel.

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