Neo-Nazi material, illegal firearms found during police raids in Wollongong, court hears
Three men charged with firearms offences following police raids in the New South Wales Illawarra have been released on bail.
Adrian John Carr, 36, Darren Boyce, 35, and Matt Gibbs, 33, are accused of possessing unauthorised and prohibited firearms.
They were arrested after officers searched a home and an industrial estate in the Wollongong suburbs of Gwynneville and Fairy Meadow on Thursday.
During his first appearance in Wollongong Local Court on Friday, Mr Gibbs pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing an unauthorised firearm.
Police facts tendered to the court revealed officers discovered around 10,000 rounds of air rifle/gel blaster ammunition, an AR15-style gel blaster and two gel pistols during a search of a home where the 33-year-old had been staying.
They also allegedly found boxes of stickers emblazoned with white supremacy, anti-Antifa slogans and extreme right-wing slogans linked to the neo-Nazi group Activ88.
Police said Mr Gibbs admitted to possessing the firearms and ammunition and also admitted to displaying the right-wing stickers in public locations near the University of Wollongong.
In court his lawyer, Ashley Slade, said her client felt "silly and stupid for participating in this" and that his possession of the stickers was "silly, stupid and childish".
"He has no political views and doesn't want to be involved," Ms Slade said.
Magistrate Claire Girotto granted bail ahead of his sentencing on May 26.
Mr Gibbs was ordered not to have contact with Mr Carr and Mr Boyce and to report to police twice a week until his next appearance.
Meanwhile, Mr Carr also faced court accused of firearms and drugs offences.
In police facts tendered to the court he was accused of having "a strong sense of anti-Semitism and hatred for the LGBTQI community".
He appeared via video link from police custody wearing a high-visibility polo shirt and declined to be represented by Legal Aid.
The arborist told the court he wanted to apply for bail as he had not done anything wrong.
He described the gel blaster allegedly found in a caravan at the rear of his home as a "broken cap gun".
"I haven't been in trouble for over eight years, your honour," he said.
"You don't just get bail because you want it," Magistrate Girotto replied.
"You have a record that is 48 pages long."
Magistrate Girotto said his alleged possession of the firearm was "suspicious" given his record.
"I'm sorry your honour," Mr Carr replied, "because I bought it on eBay, I didn't think it was illegal," he continued.
Mr Carr was granted bail and ordered to report to police twice a week ahead of his next appearance in Wollongong Local Court on May 9.
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His co-accused, Darren Boyce, also faced court on charges of possessing an unauthorised firearm, not maintaining a firearm safely and possession of ammunition without a licence.
Police claimed officers found a rusted 12-gauge, double-barrelled shotgun with a missing trigger and 12 shotgun cartridges in a caravan Mr Boyce lived in more than two years ago.
The court heard Mr Boyce allegedly told police he had dug up the firearm on a job site four to five years ago and thought it "looked nice" and "like an antique".
Police claim he denied any memory of having the cartridges but conceded "they must be mine — everything in [the caravan] is mine".
He was released on bail and will face court again next month.
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