Joint investigation targets Hells Angels in South-East Queensland

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the Australian Federal Police and the Queensland Police Service

A joint investigation by the Australian Federal Police-led Queensland National Anti-Gangs Squad, Queensland Police Service (QPS) Organised Crime Gangs Group and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) has resulted in the arrest of three men with links to the Hells Angels Outlaw Motorcycle Gang and the seizure of firearms and illicit drugs worth over $3 million.

Officers, acting on information gained from National Anti-Gangs Squad and intelligence developed by the ACIC, conducted a search warrant at a building in East Brisbane on 4 November 2021 as part of an investigation into the production and trafficking of methamphetamine.

During a search of the building, officers allegedly located a commercial-size clandestine laboratory for the production of methamphetamine, seven firearms (including handguns and assault rifles), $153,000 in cash, over six and a half kilograms of heroin and two kilograms of methamphetamine.

The total value of the drugs located at the scene is estimated to be over $3 million dollars.

A 45-year-old Gold Coast man and a 30-year-old East Toowoomba man were arrested close to the address and have both been charged with one count each of production of a dangerous drug, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of property suspected of being the proceeds of crime, possession of relevant things and two counts of possession of a dangerous drug.

They were remanded in custody and are due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court. The Toowoomba man is due to appear on November 16 and the Gold Coast man on December 6.

If found guilty these offences carry a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment.

A 31-year-old Rockhampton man was also intercepted by police at Miriam Vale on 4 November 2021.

A search of his vehicle allegedly located $151,000 in cash.

He has been charged with possession of tainted property and is expected to appear in Gladstone Magistrates Court on 22 November 2021.

National Anti-Gangs Squad Commander Andrew Donoghoe said the AFP, with state and Commonwealth law enforcement partners has remained one step ahead of outlaw motorcycle gangs, making arrests from the top to the bottom of the packs.

“Meth and heroin cause horrendous damage to the community through addiction and family violence, all in the name of greed for organised crime,” he said.

“There’s nowhere to hide for groups who seek to produce or peddle drugs like meth, the full force of the Australian Federal Police and our partners is coming for you.”

Queensland Police Service Detective Acting Superintendent Craig McGrath of the Organised Crime Gangs Group said the investigation highlights the value of QPS working collaboratively with partner agencies to disrupt and prosecute criminal groups who continue to prey on our community.

“The seizure of the firearms, also greatly reduces the risk of harm to the community, by removing them from the hands of gang members, who continue to threaten and use violence as part of their illegal operations,” Detective Acting Superintendent McGrath said.      

ACIC State Director Queensland Boyd Doherty said this result is another example of the importance of the joint agency approach against organised crime.

“Through and working in conjunction with law enforcement partners, the ACIC can extend its reach to target criminal networks,

“By working together, we are seeing significant results in preventing illicit drugs from reaching the community and we will continue to target the serious and organised crime groups who profit from the manufacture and trafficking of these drugs and firearms, with no regard for the harm they cause,” Mr Doherty said.

The National Anti-Gangs Squad (NAGS) was established in 2014 as a multi-agency law enforcement taskforce targeting organised criminal syndicates, including those involving members of outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCG).

Images and vision from this operation can be downloaded via Hightail