The Haddara clan is accustomed to dawn visits from the Santiago taskforce, which has investigated several family members over at least 15 shootings, a murder and its growing involvement in organised crime since 2008.
Alleged ringleader Fadi Haddara, 36, was arrested on Tuesday after another early-morning Santiago raid at a Williamstown North panel-beaters shop, as 700 police swarmed homes, businesses and a farm associated with the family.
While the Haddaras have earned a fearsome reputation for their bloody feud with the Chaouk family, Tuesday's raids, dubbed Operation Skyborn, dealt a blow to their burgeoning drug empire, which has links to outlaw motorcycle gangs and other organised crime syndicates.
Over the past five years, family members have been questioned by police over involvement in car rebirthing, extortion, aggravated burglary and drug trafficking.
In late 2012, the Trident Taskforce, established to combat crime on Australia's docks, moved on a sophisticated illegal tobacco syndicate, which is believed to have been linked to Melbourne's Middle Eastern crime gangs.
Detectives seized 80 million cigarettes and more than 70 tonnes of tobacco headed for under-the-counter sales. At the time, police said some of the profits could have been used to finance drug and firearms shipments, with some intelligence suggesting a share could be siphoned off for terrorism.
In 2012, the police raided several properties linked to the Haddara family and seized drugs, guns, cash and a live crocodile. Rabieh Haddara, of Essendon, was charged with drug trafficking, firearms offences and dealing in the proceeds of crime.
Middle Eastern crime gangs were also suspects in the theft of 30 handguns from St Albans gun shop Gunco, while a police audit of the same store in 2011 reportedly found 16 shotguns and a handgun missing. Police say a thriving black market in stolen firearms continues to flourish in Melbourne's western and northern suburbs.
The Santiago taskforce was established in 2008 after a spate of shootings linked to the Haddaras and several rival Middle Eastern families that include the Chaouks, Tibas and Kassabs. But it failed to staunch the bloody violence.
In 2009, Fadi Haddara pleaded guilty to affray after a wild gun battle at a Coolaroo house that left drug kingpin Mohammed Oueida and two other men with serious bullet wounds. Oueida was sentenced to 5½ years for major drug trafficking offences in 2012 but alleged in court that Haddara had extorted thousands of dollars from him.
Last year Waleed Haddara was sentenced to more than eight years' jail over the accidental shooting of his cousin Sabet ''Sam'' Haddara, who was mistaken for a member of the Chaouk clan and blasted in the face in 2011.
Six months earlier, Matwali Chaouk also fired shots at Sam Haddara from his car and was found guilty last year of recklessly endangering life. Matwali Chaouk is the son of family patriarch, Macchour Chaouk, who was gunned down in the backyard of his Brooklyn home in August 2010.
The grieving Chaouks immediately blamed their bitter rivals and vowed retribution but the brutal killing remains unsolved.
The escalation of violence between the Lebanese families, who were once on friendly terms, can be traced back to the 2009 murder of Mohammed Haddara, who was shot in front of his parents' Altona North home. The father of two died in the arms of his brother, Fadi, after the drive-by shooting.
A cousin of the Chaouks, Ahmed Hablas, was charged with Mohammed Haddara's murder but was acquitted.
Within months of Mohammed Haddara's murder, an associate's car was peppered with machine-gun fire outside an Altona North McDonald's restaurant.
Non-fatal shootings have continued, with victims unwilling to assist police and identify their assailants.