Wednesday, 11 May 2011

POLICE fear innocent members of the community may get caught up in a bikie war involving rival factions of the Bros outlaw motorcycle gang

POLICE fear innocent members of the community may get caught up in a bikie war involving rival factions of the Bros outlaw motorcycle gang, a court heard.

Loaded firearms, including a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a pump-action shotgun on a Yarraville clubhouse bar, another rifle in a suspect's house and ammunition for a high-powered assault rifle - as well as suspected drugs - were recovered during Operation Indigo search warrants, detective Sen-Constable Justin Wool told Melbourne Magistrates' Court.

Sen-Constable Wool, in opposing bail for alleged gang member Steven Manevski, said he held concerns for community safety because of what he called the Bros gang's ready access to loaded weapons and their contempt for the law in travelling around with them.

Sen-Constable Wool said police believed there was a potential for violence between the Bros' rival Yarraville and Melton chapters, with a Melton clubhouse burned down in suspicious circumstances.

"Someone in the community, as a matter of bad luck, may get caught in the crossfire," he said.

Magistrate Donna Bakos will rule today on whether Mr Manevski, 24, of Wyndhamvale, should be given bail.

Also arrested during last week's raids was Mr Manevski's father, Doug, the alleged president of the Bros, and Theodoros Kosmidis, 25.

The men face a range of firearms and drug-related offences and are yet to indicate a plea or whether the charges will be contested.

Sen-Constable Wool told the court the investigation into the Bros had uncovered evidence of organised crime and that police found a loaded pistol under a car seat when they intercepted Steven and Doug Manevski in a vehicle last Thursday.

With at least four search warrants executed at several locations last Thursday, police also seized 16g of a white, rock-powder substance believed to be illicit drugs, weapons including knuckle-dusters and batons, and a ballistic vest.

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