The police Western Region Crime Squad continues to make inroads into cross-jurisdictional offending after a firearms search warrant was executed in the Casterton district this week.
The unit's Detective Acting Inspector Matt Kershaw said officers involved in the raid include members of the Geelong-based unit, as well as Hamilton and Portland detectives.
The warrant related to the search of firearms that were stolen from a rural property in Strathdownie during January this year.
Detective Acting Inspector Kershaw said a 29-year-old Mount Gambier man was arrested and interviewed in relation to alleged offending.
"He was released with further enquiries pending," he said.
"Subsequent to the search a Trafficable amount of methylamphetamine and cannabis was located, along with a large quantity of cash ($16,000) suspected of being the proceeds of crime.
"A 36-year-old Wando Vale man was arrested, charged and remanded in custody in relation to trafficking drugs of dependence.
"A 52-year-old Hamilton male was also arrested, charged and bailed to appear at the Hamilton Magistrates Court on October 10 charged with trafficking a drug of dependence.
"A 33-year-old male from Indented Heads (east of Geelong) was arrested, charged and bailed to appear at Hamilton Magistrates Court on October 10 charged with trafficking a drug of dependence and possessing property suspected of being the proceeds of crime."
The Western Region Crime Squad, involving 12 detectives based in Geelong and Bendigo, was established by Victoria Police in October last year to target cross police jurisdictional offending in the western part of Victoria.
It covers from Geelong, north to Echuca and the western part of the state to the South Australian border.
Detective Acting Inspector Kershaw said the Wando Vale warrant was a follow-up from the Strathdownie firearms burglary in January, during which an offender allegedly pointed a firearm at the owner before fleeing.
He said investigations had led to the recovery of one of the firearms and a South Australian man was extradited to Victoria to face charges.
"We got the main suspect so that's always pleasing," he said.
Previously Geelong-based criminals had targeted the Corangamite region, while crooks from Ballarat and Wodonga focused on the western plains area and offenders from northern Victoria ram raided chainsaw stores across the south-west.
In the past two years there have been numerous examples of cross postcode offenders plying their illicit skills away from home.
Detective Acting Inspector Kershaw said drug and firearm trafficking were key areas of interest for the squad.
In late March police seized hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of drugs and luxury cars following a four-month crime squad investigation into the trafficking of methamphetamine across the south-west.
Detectives executed a series of 10 raids across Warrnambool, Geelong and Melbourne's west.
A search warrant executed at a property in Warrnambool's Boston Drive uncovered 240 grams of methamphetamine worth $170,000 - five times the amount considered to be a commercial quantity.
Police also seized two slingshots, homemade knuckle dusters, digital scales, nearly $20,000 cash.
The raids netted 700 grams of the drug ice, worth an estimated $420,000, 36 grams of cocaine and small quantities of GHB, MDMA, anabolic steroids, cannabis and testosterone.
Detectives also seized firearms, more than $190,000 cash and numerous luxury vehicles, motorbikes and a 2015 Kenworth truck believed to be the proceeds of crime.
Detective Acting Inspector Kewshaw said the squad's dedicated detectives were able to track, arrest and prosecute offenders who were part of wider networks.
He said relationships with Warrnambool, Hamilton, Portland and Ballarat detectives took time to build but the successes showed what a coordinated approach could achieve.
"Those relationships are really important, essential," he said.
"We're only a squad of 12 detectives and we need that support, both on the ground to assist with warrants, and with intelligence.
"At the start there was some apprehension about the squad coming in and claiming the good jobs, but everyone can now see the advantages and have jumped onboard.
"Intelligence is 100 per cent what we are about. Local detectives know their crooks.
"There's definitely a market for what we are doing, looking at wider operations and disrupting those criminal enterprises.
"But much of what we do is based on intelligence and cooperation from and with our local colleagues. We also need the assistance of local communities to best do our jobs.
"If you hear or see something suspicious, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
"And there's nothing like success to push initiatives forward for everyone's benefit," he said.
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