THICK wads of hundred-dollar bills, a kilogram of cocaine, pistols with home-made silencers, knuckle dusters, steroids, a doctor’s prescription pad and pills of Viagra.
When police swooped on two alleged drug transactions at Mayfield and western Sydney on Wednesday, and later raided homes across the Hunter and Manning Valley, they claim to have seized such a range of cash, drugs, guns and other paraphernalia that even hardened detectives were surprised.
The president of a Hunter-based chapter of the Bandidos bikie gang, Ronald Leggett, and another Hunter bikie were two of 10 men who were arrested as part of what police described as a sophisticated drug supply network with tentacles reaching from Sydney to the Hunter and Taree.
The arrests come several months after detectives began investigating what was described as alleged ‘‘criminal activities of the Bandidos and other [bikie gangs], as well as the commercial supply of ice, ecstasy, amphetamine, cocaine and cannabis between Sydney and the Taree area’’.
‘‘Investigating drug supply, in particular ice, is a major priority for us because it is such and insidious drug,’’ Manning-Great Lakes crime manager Detective Inspector Peter McKenna said.
‘‘And when you combine that with the activities of outlaw motorcycle gangs, it is right at the top of our investigative agenda.’’
Three pistols, including a homemade device with a silencer, were found at a Lower Belford home, along with ammunition, knuckle dusters, a stun gun, cash, and small amounts of amphetamines and steroids.
At a Kotara home, police found a homemade imitation firearm, an extendable baton, small amounts of cannabis and Viagra, cash, and a doctor’s prescription pad suspected of being stolen.
Additional search warrants were also executed at Kimbriki, Taree, Weston, Kurri Kurri, Claremont Meadows and Smithfield, with amphetamines, ecstasy, cocaine, steroids, cash and other weapons seized.
Police swooped on two alleged drug transactions at Mayfield and Sydney where police claim to have seized a commercial quantity of ice and a kilogram of cocaine.
Ten men were arrested.
They included Nathan Predo, 29, of Vista Parade, Kotara, who is charged with commercial supply and made a brief appearance in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday afternoon where he nodded to supporters in the gallery.
He did not apply for bail but barrister Andrew Bright told magistrate Robert Stone he would be ready to make an application for release from custody on Monday.
In handcuffs and wearing shorts and a T-shirt with black thongs, he was led away moments before Mr Leggett appeared in the dock, similarly dressed and similarly heavily tattooed.
Mr Leggett, of Bell Road, Belford, is facing a longer list of charges, including supply commercial quantity of prohibited drugs, five counts of possess military style weapon, and knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime and firearm offences.
He would not be seeking to make a bail application, the court heard.
Neither entered pleas and the charge matters were put over to April 4 to allow time for the preparation of a brief of evidence.