Weapon imports backfire for Albany man
Australian Border Force raids on a Spencer Park home uncovered a significant haul of firearms, ammunition and drugs.
The ABF was alerted to activities by Michael Gregory Page, 47, who imported a Glock Selector Switch on two occasions in September 2018 and January this year.
Last Thursday, the Albany Magistrate’s Court heard the “the sugar cube sized” piece of equipment converted Glock handguns from semi-automatic to fully autonomic.
Page pleaded guilty to two counts of importing prohibited imports, which carries a maximum fine of $275,000, after buying them on eBay, for less than $50 each.
The court heard Page ordered the parts out of curiosity but had not used them. He made the second purchase after believing he had lost the first item.
During a March 14 raid at Page’s home by the ABF and WA Police, officers found more than 1500 rounds of assorted ammunition and four pistols.
All but 12 rounds of ammunition were licensed, but nothing was properly secured.
Page helped police find other items of interest in his home, including three cannabis plants over 2m tall, more than 1kg of cannabis and 26 grams of cannabis resin. The resin carried a charge of manufacturing a prohibited drug.
Magistrate Raelene Johnston said Page should have known correct firearm storage procedures being a firearm enthusiast.
After pleading guilty to all charges last Thursday, Page returned to court yesterday for sentencing.
Ms Johnston fined Page $5000 for each of the two import charges, $400 for cultivating the three cannabis plants, and a combined 60 hours of community service and 12-month community-based order for inadequate storage of firearms, failure to properly store the ammunition and the drugs charges.
“It is entirely possible the (firearm) items could have fallen into the hands of someone with nefarious intentions with them,” Ms Johnston said. “It is troubling the volume of ammunition in your possession.”
Page will also lose his firearm licence and have to pay $3350 in Commonwealth prosecution charges.
A 25 per cent reduction was applied to Page’s sentence because he pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, while Ms Johnston noted a personal reference in support of Page from his landlord, despite cannabis being grown on the property.
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