Three-day shooting campaign targeted at feuding crime gangs
In a three-day police operation reacting to a rash of public shootings in the south-west of Sydney, more than 100 people and cars were searched and 17 charges were laid.
At 5pm on Friday, just hours before a home in Merrylands was sprayed with bullets, the police conducted a high-visibility operation. Five individuals, including two girls, were at home.
Operation Talon, with the help of the Raptor Squad and highway patrol, aviation and dog unit officers, was led by Fairfield City and Auburn police area commanders.
The operation, which ends at midnight on Sunday, was charged with disrupting disputes between criminal gangs by talking about public safety and the law with suspected participants.
The police imposed 44 prohibition orders against weapons and searched 108 vehicles and 106 persons. Fifty-six traffic warnings were released, as well as eight notices of vehicle defects and 17 charges were laid.
54-year-old Wayne Arya Subakti, who was stopped while driving a Mercedes AMG on the Cumberland Highway, Smithfield on Saturday at around 6.10 pm, was among those accused.
In the car, police reportedly found cocaine and steroids.
He was arrested and taken to the Fairfield Police Station, where he was convicted of possessing a controlled drug on five counts. He was denied bail and planned to appear on Sunday at Parramatta Bail Court.
A 22-year-old man who was allegedly speeding while driving a Hyundai 130 in Fairfield Heights on Friday was also charged. The driver reportedly crashed the car into the garden of a home on Cathcart Street before fleeing after a police chase.
He was later arrested and charged with several crimes at the Green Valley police station, including driving recklessly, engaging in a police chase, and overtaking a vehicle while insecure.
The man appeared on Saturday at Parramatta Bail Court and was given conditional bail to appear on March 1 at Fairfield Local Court.
Operation Talon was initiated as part of ongoing attempts to root out a rival gang feud. The Friday night house shooting in Merrylands is the latest in a series of violent shootings, but the house is not thought to have been the intended target.
Police suspect that the perpetrators were possibly targeting a neighboring residence connected to some Alameddine family members, which had previously been hit by shootings and police raids.
Some Alameddines have been involved with the Hamzy gang in a dangerous tit-for-tat fight, tensions that allegedly worsened with a reported drug and assault robbery.
Police also issued $8200 in fines to the Havana Lounge on Horsley Drive, Wetherill Park over the weekend, after a number of licensing violations were reportedly found. Infringements for parking illegally in disabled parking spaces were also given to three clients.
The location is not charged with any involvement in recent violent events, but is reportedly frequented by members of opposing organizations.