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Four men charged over ‘sophisticated ice ring across Melbourne’

Police have busted a suspected Melbourne ice syndicate with possible links to Italian organised crime, charging 13 people after a series of dawn raids.

The Wednesday morning raids were across several suburbs in Melbourne’s northwest on properties believed to be linked to an ice-trafficking ring.

The men, aged 26 to 61, were arrested on Wednesday as more than 100 police raided 12 properties seizing guns, cash and drugs including methamphetamine, commonly known as ice.

Michael Barbaro, 58, of Sydenham, was charged with trafficking a large commercial quantity of drugs and illegally possessing a firearm, the Herald Sun reported.  

 

Michael Barbaro (pictured), 58, of Sydenham, was charged with trafficking a large commercial quantity of drugs and illegally possessing a firearm

Neighbours had been 'quite uncomfortable' with what they thought had been going on at the properties but did not speak up, police said (pictured is a broken window at the Sydenham home)

Neighbours had been ‘quite uncomfortable’ with what they thought had been going on at the properties but did not speak up, police said (pictured is a broken window at the Sydenham home)

Pasquale Barbaro, 29, of Taylors Hill, was charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of MDMA and firearms offences related to a handgun and long arm.

Both Jimmey Barkho, 27, of Port Melbourne and Pepi Scardamaglia, 52, of Keilor Downs, were charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of drugs.

All four were remanded in custody. 

A Mercedes was removed from the property in Sydenham 

A Mercedes was removed from the property in Sydenham 

Acting Assistant Commissioner Peter Brigham said the group had proved to be a difficult target because ‘they’re familiar with conventional police procedures’. 

‘They are quite sophisticated and versed in investigative techniques and so they’re very good at concealing the way they operate,’ he said. 

The organised crime syndicate had been supplying ice to other dealers in Melbourne for a ‘significant’ time, police alleged, with pending charges expected to cover an eight-month period dating back to October. 

Drugs including ice, cannabis and cocaine as well as illegal firearms were recovered from properties raided in the suburbs of Sydenham, Taylors Hill, Airport West, Pascoe Vale, Keilor, Caroline Springs, Albanvale and at a factory at Ravenhall. 

Acting Assistant Commissioner Peter Brigham (pictured) said the group had proved to be a difficult target because 'they're familiar with conventional police procedures'.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Peter Brigham (pictured) said the group had proved to be a difficult target because ‘they’re familiar with conventional police procedures’.

Neighbours had been ‘quite uncomfortable’ with what they thought had been going on at the properties but did not speak up, police said.

More charges are expected to be confirmed on Thursday. 

 

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