A MAN has been granted bail, accused of supplying a shortened firearm, and possessing other guns in connection to the Tamworth "ice castle" investigation.
The 44-year-old Uralla man is the 27th to be charged under Strike Force Radius - the secret Oxley police operation that has exposed an alleged gun and ice supply ring operating in Tamworth.
The 27 men and women - from Tamworth, Armidale, Dubbo, Sydney and further afield - face a combined 210 charges, accused of being involved in the illegal ring, or supplying or possessing drugs or guns.
The Uralla man is facing 12 firearm-related offences after he handed himself into Strike Force Radius detectives at Armidale police station on Monday morning.
Detectives then searched a property on Balala Road at Balala, where they will allege they seized a .22 bolt-action rifle and ammunition. The gun was seized and is the subject of further investigations to determine its origin.
The allegations against the 44-year-old centre on three firearms, allegedly in his possession or supplied in December last year in the Tamworth area.
He's facing three counts of possessing an unauthorised firearm; two charges of possessing an unregistered gun; possessing a shortened firearm; supplying a shortened gun; supplying a firearm; two counts of acquiring ammunition without a licence; supplying ammunition; as well as not keeping a firearm safely.
"This has been one of the largest investigations by Oxley police into drug and gun supply," Oxley Detective Acting Inspector Jason Darcy told the Leader.
"More than 25 people are now before the court on more than 200 offences.
"This investigation is continuing and we still have offenders who we say were involved in the activity that are still outstanding."
Ashley Hoye, 31, is allegedly avoiding police, and remains on the run with warrants out for his arrest. Aden Mohamed is accused of possessing $47,000 worth of the drug ice in Tamworth. A magistrate issued warrants for his arrest after he failed to show up for court in July.
The Uralla man has been granted conditional bail and ordered to front Tamworth Local Court in mid-December, when his co-accused are also due to appear.
The Strike Force Radius operation unfolded with a series of raids and arrests in Tamworth in May. The police sting, which was set up in August 2018, involves Oxley detectives and officers from the Tamworth Target Action Group.
Stephen Ross Hanshaw is alleged to be one of the ringleaders in the "ice castle business", which was allegedly supplying drugs out of his Petra Avenue housing commission unit.