Guns, bombs and ammunition found in gang “for protection”

Items recovered by police from Seth Forde's address in Napier on May 12, 2021.

PROVIDED

Items recovered by police from Seth Forde’s address in Napier on May 12, 2021.

National Outlaws Sergeant Seth Forde’s room is like every other – other than the five guns, two homemade bombs, 300 rounds, methamphetamine and $ 80,000 in cash.

In his workshop, there were two hunting rifles hidden inside the wall.

The 42-year-old was one of the many targets of Operation Kentucky – a Hawke’s Bay Police Gang Concentration Unit investigation targeting the sale and supply of methamphetamine.

Forde, a “national sergeant” with the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, told police there were several weapons, including two homemade bombs, in his room. He claimed they were for protection following the loss of his best friend, Outlaws president Peter Lui, who died after being assaulted on March 29.

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Forde was sentenced Tuesday by Napier District Court to six years in prison after pleading guilty to nine counts of illegal possession of a firearm, one of illegal possession of a firearm, one count of Representative charge of supplying methamphetamine and one count of possession for supplying methamphetamine.

ROSS GIBLIN / STUFF

A nationwide operation targeting gangs has a “significant impact,” Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said.

Forde’s attorney, Cam Robertson, said guns, ammunition and explosives were being held in response to Lui’s unexpected murder, and members of the Outlaws gang generally did not appear in court.

The gang was formed in the 1960s, revolved around a love of motorcycles, “and have always been low-key and non-confrontational,” said Robertson.

“Members of the public and the police have never been in danger with these guns. They were specifically for defensive purposes.

The homemade bombs were small and would do little more than make noise and scare people, he said.

Police raided Forde's home, which is also the headquarters of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club on Mersey St in Pandora.

PROVIDED

Police raided Forde’s home, which is also the headquarters of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club on Mersey St in Pandora.

Justice Russell Collins said a cultural report on Forde’s past and his methamphetamine addiction “paints a pretty sad picture,” involving a childhood plagued by violence and alcoholism.

The report, written by leading Mongrel Mob member Harry Tam, also said Forde suffered backward racism as a Pākehā child raised in Flaxmere, which helped him become a criminal.

The judge said he understood Forde’s reasons for having the guns, but that could not be accepted as a mitigating argument, and the public had no tolerance for this kind of offense.

Between June last year and May 2021, police monitored the text messages and discovered the sale and supply of 117.5 grams of methamphetamine to 10 different people.

The headquarters of the National Outlaw Club in Napier.

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The headquarters of the National Outlaw Club in Napier.

On May 12, police raided Forde’s home, which was also the headquarters of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club on Mersey St in Pandora. He had been assaulted outside the headquarters.

Prior to the warrant, Forde was arrested by police for driving while disqualified and after being searched, police found a pistol in his jacket.

He was taken back to the club headquarters, where he told police he had guns, bombs and meth in his room and led the police through the pad to his room, in indicating where the weapons were.

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