His lawyer Paul Holmes confirmed his client had been arrested and The West Australian understands it was part of a broader police operation targeting the Mongols bikie club. It’s understood several members of the club — who patched over the Finks some years ago — have been arrested as part of the operation.
At a press conference on Wednesday police said today’s operation had resulted in drugs and weapons being found. Search warrants were carried out in Landsdale, Thornlie, Darch, Girrawheen, Nollamara, Butler and Ellenbrook. Four senior club members have been arrested.
It will be alleged drugs, cash and weapons were located as part of today’s operation – including an electronic stun device and a military-style bayonet. Detective senior sergeant John Mottolini said police were still analysing the items found today but declined to comment on Mercanti’s arrest.
“Today’s action was specifically targeted against the Mongols…to disrupt the Mongols OMCG network,” he said. “If left unchecked, outlaw motorcycle gangs would pose a greater threat to the community – they would expand their criminal networks and expand their criminal activity. “You only have to look at the history of the Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, both here and overseas, to learn their history of violence and links to established criminal networks.”
Speaking earlier today Mercanti’s lawyer said police wanted to question him over allegations he had breached his supervision order.
“It’s an allegation he’s breached his obligations under his post sentence supervision order,” Mr Holmes said. “Our view is that he hasn’t and any allegation that he has will be defended.”
No charges are understood to have been laid. A long-haired Mercanti left Perth police centre just after 12.30pm. He left in the company of a woman and walked off down Fitzgerald Street. His only comment to the media as he left was: “Haven’t missed youse dogs have I.”
The Prisoner’s Review Board put Mercanti on a strict supervision order after his release from jail just over a year ago. He served almost seven years behind bars for violence inflicted on his former wife Tammy Kingdon.
Among the conditions attached to Mercanti’s release order are that he not drink alcohol or associate with anyone with outlaw motorcycle links. The order also means he must notify authorities of his residential address and cannot move without approval, needs to try to find a job, must get counselling and cannot be in possession of a weapon.
In 2010, Mercanti’s switch to the Finks after being turfed out of the Coffin Cheaters sparked a feud that erupted into a bloody shootout at the Kwinana Motorplex after members unexpectedly turned up to the same event.
In February 2008, Mercanti needed hospital treatment after being bashed by 12 to 15 of his former Coffin Cheater comrades. A few months earlier, Mercanti broke the jaw of a 26-year-old man at the Geisha Bar in Northbridge. He served jail time for that also.