POLICE have made a major breakthrough in the 2013 stabbing murder of alleged Gold Coast bikie associate Max Waller, arresting a patched member of the Mongols hiding out in California.
22-year-old Wade Yates-Taui from the Gold Coast is expected to be extradited from the United States to Queensland where police say he will face charges in relation to the death of Mr Waller, 28, during the early hours of June 23 last year.
Detectives from Queensland’s Homicide Investigation Unit, Gold Coast District and Task Force Maxima worked closely with the Australian Federal Police and the US Marshals Service to facilitate the arrest.
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The Pacific South West Region Fugitive Task Force, Los Angeles Police Department, ICE-DHS Los Angeles, California Highway Patrol, Pasadena Police Department, Glendale Police Department and the Long Beach Police Department were also involved.
Mr Waller’s body was found outside an Old Burleigh Road apartment complex in Broadbeach. It’s alleged the Hope Island man had links to the Bandidos Criminal Motorcycle Gang on the coast.
South Eastern Police Region, Regional Crime Coordinator, Detective Superintendent David Hutchinson said the arrest highlights the commitment of detectives who have been working tirelessly on this investigation for almost a year.
“The public can be confident we will leave no stone unturned when investigating any serious crime and will pursue offenders relentlessly, wherever they are,” he said.
State Crime Command’s Homicide Investigation Unit Detective Superintendent Steve Holahan said it was a difficult investigation.
“This was and still remains a complicated and difficult investigation. The work of the investigators has been outstanding, which has resulted in the location of the offender in the United States. It is important that the Queensland community see these criminal gangs for what they really are.”
Acting Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith of Taskforce Maxima said once again the true nature of these criminal gangs is being revealed.
“This death and subsequent arrest, provides yet another example as to why these gangs need to be eliminated from our community. This matter has shown how these gangs use their criminal networks to not only commit extremely serious crime, but to attempt avoid prosecution by fleeing overseas.
“The additional resources and legislation provided as part of a whole of government response to tacking these gangs is providing a tremendous platform from which we are dismantling these gangs in Queensland,” he said.
Investigations into the incident are continuing with further arrests expected.