9 August 2023

Wagga men with alleged Mongols bikie links plead not guilty

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
Wagga Wagga Local Court

Raptor Squad carried out an operation targeting outlaw motorcycle gang activity in the Riverina in July. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Four men with alleged links to the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) have pleaded not guilty following a police operation targeting gang members and associates across the Riverina last month.

Joshua Eden, 32, Steven Hall, 39, Joshua Warrick Irvine, 40, and Mathew James Goward, 41, fronted Wagga Wagga Local Court on 8 August charged with stalking/intimidating, intending to cause fear and physical harm and affray.

All four men pleaded not guilty to their charges in front of Magistrate Rebecca Hosking.

Irvine was also charged with participating in criminal group activity and assault. However, no pleas were recorded against the charges.

Raptor Squad South detectives carried out an operation targeting OMCG members and associates from 18-20 July in Griffith and Wagga Wagga.

Those officers and Riverina police executed multiple search warrants across Wagga, Boorooma, Mount Austin, The Rock and Tolland, following an investigation into reports of an alleged assault and intimidation on 18 July.

Eden, Hall and Goward were arrested and taken to Wagga Wagga Police Station, while Irvine was taken to Tumut Police Station.

On 19 July, Raptor Squad officers conducted six firearm prohibition order (FPO) compliance checks across Lake Wyangan and Griffith, targeting alleged Bandidos OMCG members and associates.

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On the same day, Magistrate Hosking granted the accused men bail on the conditions that they must not be in contact with each other, not wear OMCG colours in a public place, and not go near or contact, or try to go near or contact (except through a legal representative), any prosecution witness.

The conditions also require Irvine to live in Boorooma (Wagga), Eden to live in Tolland (Wagga), Hall to live in The Rock (Wagga) and Goward to live in Hamilton Valley (Albury).

Magistrate Hosking has set their next court appearance for 25 September at Wagga Wagga Local Court.

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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