Windeyer man jailed for firearms offences resulting from Strike Force Raptor operation

Strike Fore Raptor, photo NSW Police.
Strike Fore Raptor, photo NSW Police.

A Windeyer man charged as a result of an operation targeting outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCG) earlier this year, was jailed for firearms offences in Mudgee Local Court.

Sixty one-year-old Tim Demartino was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of nine months, for acquiring and possessing an unregistered firearm as well as ammunition, while subject to a Firearms Prohibition Order (FPO).

He was also fined a total of $2200 for prohibited weapon and drug possession charges, as well as handling an explosive without a licence and not storing a firearm safely.

On Thursday, February 20, 2017, police from Mudgee Local Area Command and the Gangs Squad’s Strike Force Raptor were conducted a high-visibility operation targeting OMCG members and their associates.

Demartino’s Pyramul Road property was searched as part of the FPO, which had been in place since 2015.

He admitted to being in possession of the self-loading .22 calibre rifle, which was found leaning against a wall in a spare room.

Police seized; a total of 496 rounds of ammunition located in a number of boxes and bags; a set of knuckle dusters; five grams of cannabis; and a firework.

Demartino’s solicitor, Allan Hogan, told the court that the drug was for pain relief from kidney failure and that his client hasn’t been involved with OMCG since 2015.

He said the rifle and ammunition were left by his late uncle, however Magistrate Bruce Williams replied that there was “no evidence of this”.

Furthermore, he said that while the defendant doesn’t have a “significantly long record” he was charged and jailed in 2010 for an incident that involved a gun being fired in public.

Magistrate Williams said that the breach of the FPO was at the heart of the matter.

“He knew before police attended that he was in possession of the firearm, he knew he was subject to the prohibition order, and he did nothing to surrender it,” he said.

When sentencing – during which Demartino dropped his head into his hands – Magistrate Williams said a term of imprisonment was necessary to reflect the seriousness of firearm offences in the community.