Melbourne: Man faces 140 charges for allegedly arming youth gang members

Police have hit a Melbourne man with 140 charges for allegedly selling weapons to known youth gang members.

In October, police raided two shops and a factory in the eastern and southeast suburbs of Boronia, Narre Warren and Dandenong South, seizing 402 prohibited weapons such as imitation handguns, butterfly knives, zombie knives, axes, miniature samurai swords, daggers, flick knives and knuckle dusters.

A 52-year-old Cranbourne North man was arrested at a Narre Warren shop at the time, though released pending further police investigations.

He has now been served with 140 charges, including 97 counts of possessing a prohibited weapon without exemption/approval.

He was summonsed to appear in the Dandenong Magistrates Court on July 16.

When police raided the businesses they also seized 111 cartons of illegal cigarettes and about 2kg of dried loose-leaf tobacco, quantities of methylamphetamine, cannabis and prescription medication, more than 17,000 vapes worth $461,000 and laser pointers.

As a result the 52-year-old man is facing 27 charges of possessing a schedule 4 poison, 10 counts of displaying a prohibited weapon for sale, four charges of possessing an imitation firearm and two counts of possessing tobacco.

Police will allege the man was selling prohibited weapons – including knives and machetes – to known youth gang members in the Greater Dandenong area.

The bust and arrest was made as part of the police’s Operation Alliance.

The operation has led to 387 known youth gang members being arrested a combined total of 1432 times, police say. These offenders were charged with 3286 offences.

A core group of 249 youth gang members who were arrested more than three times during the past year, including 59 people arrested more than 10 times, present a “specific challenge for police”, a spokesperson said.

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