SIX people, including four bikies, have been arrested and 24 others served with official consorting warnings following a statewide bikie blitz.
The operation, dubbed Quebec Schedule, targeted the Rebels Outlaw Motorcycle Gang in Queensland’s north-west.
It formed part of a larger operation targeting criminal activity and habitual consorting under the state’s new serious and organised crime legislation.
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Officers made their move on Saturday morning and arrested six men in Mount Isa, Cloncurry and Rockhampton.
Among them was a 51-year-old member and former president of the Rebels who was charged with possessing dangerous drugs and utensils.
A 24-year-old man was charged with possessing dangerous drugs and utensils and obstructing police. He was also served with an official consorting warning.
A second 24-year-old man who police allege is a member of the Rebels Mount Isa chapter, was arrested in Cloncurry and formally charged with Habitual Consorting.
A 56-year-old man wearing a Rebels ring was arrested on the outskirts of Rockhampton and charged with possession of prohibited item and habitual consorting.
Meanwhile, two other patched members of the Rebels Mount Isa chapter were arrested at a Rebel’s event at Rockhampton.
The men, 37 and 44, were each charged with habitual consorting.
All six men have been released under strict bail conditions and will appear in Mount Isa Magistrates Court on August 7.
A further 24 Rebels members were also issued official consorting warnings.
Police Minister Mark Ryan praised the work of Taskforce Maxima, adding the state’s tough new anti-gang laws were making a difference in the fight against organised crime.
“These are the first OMCG members charged with habitual consorting since our tough new laws were passed last year to target organised crime gangs operating in Queensland,” Minister Ryan said.
“This will have a significant impact on the Mount Isa Rebel chapter.
“We will continue to use every legal mechanism available to dismantle and disrupt organised crime gangs operating in this state.”
The Organised Crime Gangs Group’s Tactical Operations Detective Inspector Tim Leadbetter said consorting legislation had proved to be a useful tool.
“These arrests demonstrate the Queensland Police Service’s state-wide commitment to pursuing illegal activity of current and former members of organised crime groups and gang members,” Detective Inspector Leadbetter said.
“We have been transparent and overt in our intentions. Those charged were provided official warnings including details of who they should not consort with, along with an explanation of the legislation and ramifications.
“We will pursue those gang members who consort with recognised offenders as a deterrence to those establishing, maintaining or expanding criminal networks.
“The habitual consorting charge carries a potential three years imprisonment and anyone convicted of the offence can have control orders imposed by the courts.
“We have issued over 700 official warning notices state-wide targeting criminal networks and gangs. Recipients should understand the implications of disregarding these warning notices.”