Bikie boss caught in massive police raid
Hells Angels boss Felix Lyle is one of a number of high-profile gangland figures nabbed by police in one of the biggest firearm and drug operations in NSW history.
Lyle was one of four people charged on Tuesday after police made 19 arrests as part of Strike Force Alistair - a joint operation between police and the NSW Crime Commission targeting organised crime in the state.
Lyle, 56, from Sydney, has been charged with a firearm offence as well as five counts of supplying drugs - two involving a commercial quantity.
He will remain behind bars after being formally refused bail in a Sydney court on Tuesday afternoon.
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell told parliament the operation was "one of the biggest firearm and drug operations in the history of this state".
He said around 30 people would be charged with a raft of serious offences, some of which carry sentences of life imprisonment.
The national president of the Hells Angels and vice presidents of the Rebels were among those charged, Mr O'Farrell said.
"This is the result of terrific work by the NSW police in targeting organised crime, drug supply and illegal weapons," the premier said during question time on Tuesday.
Police said drugs, firearms, a stun gun, a hand grenade, a ballistic vest and around $500,000 in counterfeit cash were seized in the raids carried out across Sydney.
The Crime Commission has also issued two restraining orders on assets.
As well as the senior Hells Angels bikie, three other men - aged 35, 33 and 25 - were charged with offences relating to the supply of a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs.
The older man was to appear at Bankstown Local Court on Tuesday afternoon, while the other two were to face Fairfield Local Court.
Speaking at Crime Commission headquarters, Detective Superintendent Mick Plotecki said 350 officers took part in the raids, executing 30 warrants across southwest Sydney, the northern metro area, the city, and the south coast.
The operation targeted senior members of the Hells Angels, Comancheros, and Rebels, as well as Asian and Balkan crime gangs, police said.
The arrests were the culmination of two years of work involving the Crime Commission and police, 95 surveillance warrants, 41 telephone intercept warrants and the monitoring of more than 500,000 phone calls.
Police said the raids came after a number of arrests three weeks ago over a conspiracy to import 400kg of amphetamines, also as a result of Strike Force Alistair.
Det Supt Plotecki said the charges would relate to commercial drugs supply, firearms offences, providing explosives, and counterfeiting cash.
He said a key component of the operation was "targeting those people that make these networks work".
"We're targeting particularly those people that go out and procure firearms and drugs, and also those that supply them," he said.
Police Minister Michael Gallacher has praised "the incredible efforts and success" of the police and the NSW Crime Commission.
He said everyone involved in the operation had "been relentless in smashing these criminal networks".
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