Frances Vinall news.com.au
Dozens of charges have been withdrawn for three men with links to outlaw motorcycle gangs who had been accused of firearms offences.
Josh Rider, Andrew Heil and Phillip Main had a combined 31 charges struck out by magistrate Donna Bakos in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
All three men are allegedly linked to the Mongols bikie gang.
The charges followed early morning raids on Mongols-linked properties and clubhouses across Melbourne on January 22 last year.
The raids were part of the investigation into the death of Paul Virgona, a fruiterer who was gunned down while driving on the EastLink in Donvale on the morning of November 9, 2019.
Mr Rider, 30, of Port Melbourne, had been hit with eight charges related to illegally possessing guns, including possessing a machine gun and ammunition.
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Mr Heil, 31, of Carrum Downs, had been charged with eight firearms offences, including possessing two unregistered longarms, three unregistered handguns, and ammunition.
Mr Main, 48, of Southbank, was facing 14 gun-related charge, including possessing a machine gun and ammunition.
Mr Main was also charged with drug possession, of prescription medication Tadalafil, which is used to treat erectile dysfunction and prostate enlargement.
All of those charges were withdrawn on Wednesday.
Prosecutor Aggy Kapitaniak did not say why the charges had been withdrawn.
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Mr Rider is separately charged with murdering Mr Virgona along with another man, Aaron Ong.
There is no suggestion Mr Heil or Mr Main were involved in Mr Virgona’s death.