A man has been arrested over a stash of high-powered weapons — including an automatic rifle linked to the Australian Defence Force — which were seized from a property in suburban Adelaide.
- High-powered guns were allegedly found concealed inside a Holden ute
- A 32-year-old man has been arrested for firearms and drugs offences
- One of the weapons is the subject of an Australian Defence Force investigation
SA Police yesterday arrested the 32-year-old from Piccadilly in the Adelaide Hills and charged him with firearm and drug offences, after a Newton address was raided in January.
The property was one of several searched earlier this year as part of a joint investigation by police in SA and NSW, and the Australian Federal Police.
At the time, police allegedly discovered a “large commercial clandestine methamphetamine laboratory” in Harolds Cross in New South Wales and arrested two people.
Police also allegedly uncovered guns and methamphetamine stored in the tray of a Holden ute parked at the Newton property.
The ute was seized along with a Ford Territory for forensic examination, and sophisticated concealed compartments were allegedly located in both vehicles.
Police said they recovered a modified AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, two handguns, a revolver, ammunition, magazines, and a Steyr fully-automatic military rifle.
Steyr’s website states the weapon can function as a light machine gun, and is used by the military in several countries.
The arrested man, Rohan Peter Wakefield, appeared via videolink in the Adelaide Magistrates Court this afternoon charged with multiple firearm offences.
He was released on bail, after an application was not opposed by prosecutors, and will be back before the court in December.
Rifle capable of causing ‘massive’ damage
Detective Superintendent Stephen Taylor said police were concerned to have discovered such high-powered weapons, and that the investigation was ongoing.
“Since January 2019 across South Australia, there’s been a total of 20 drive-by shootings where houses have actually been shot up … six of those related to the drug trade.
“We have sufficient information to substantiate that the drug lab in Harolds Cross is probably linked to the drug lab that we got last month in Morphett Vale and also the drug lab at Panorama.
Superintendent Taylor also said police were “sharply focused on disabling and dismantling serious organised crime syndicates” who were putting lives “at risk”.
“The seizures made during these investigations are significant and reveal the breadth of the offending that serious and organised crime syndicates are involved in,” he said.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said there had been significant effort to remove “unlawful firearms from the community”.
“It is often the case that the types of firearms that give us the greatest concern are in the hands of criminals or outlaw motorcycle gangs,” he said.
“To remove these firearms from people who may use them unlawfully is a positive for safety community and it’s a validation of the effort we put in to identifying offenders.”