Helicopter rides, a Cobra sports car and a bikini model girlfriend were all part of the glamorous life caught on Instagram of one of the alleged members of Australia’s largest cocaine cartel.
Tattooed muscleman Darren Mohr’s glittering lifestyle, which he documented on social media, shows him sunning himself in exclusive locations, flying around in a helicopter, at a yacht club during the Monaco Grand Prix, and posing with luxury cars, his girlfriend and his pet dog and macaw.
His girlfriend is in no way implicated in the alleged drug importation.
But Mohr’s high life all came to an end Tuesday when the 42-year-old was arrested and handcuffed on a footpath in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
Mohr, who once owned a cafe which was featured on a hit reality show, is one of 15 men now in custody after police uncovered 1,100 pounds of cocaine on a boat in Sydney’s Parsley Bay.
If convicted, all the men potentially face life imprisonment for the alleged plot to import $260 million of cocaine from South America.
The massive drug plot came unstuck because police were tipped off by a member of the public who reported in 2014 that they had seen a man they believed was acting suspiciously.
For the next 30 months, undercover detectives allegedly surveilled the men at more than a hundred meetings in Sydney cafes and parks.
The Daily Telegraph revealed that at times more than a dozen police officers would watch key players using encrypted BlackBerries and talking in code as they allegedly plotted.
Police claim the alleged drug cartel was bringing the cocaine in from Chile via Tahiti and was using fishing trawlers based at the Sydney Fish Market.
The men were arrested on Christmas Day and the three days thereafter in Sydney, Queensland and Tasmania.
Police allege that in the lead-up to the arrests, the cartel members discussed map locations, recruits, drug finance and the movement of fishing vessels to transport the narcotics.
Mohr was arrested along with 1980s Roosters rugby league player John Tobin, commercial fisherman Joe Pirello, Double Bay businessman Richard Lipton, fisherman Stuart Ayrton and a New Zealand citizen, Graham Toa Toa.
The 15 men are in their 40s, 50s and 60s and include members of a well-respected fishing family.
The joint operation to uncover the alleged drug plot included officers from the New South Wales Police, Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force.
Police allege that the cartel members planned to send out the Sydney-based fishing trawlers to meet a larger ship carrying the drugs from Chile.
NSW Police investigation co-ordinator Detective Chief Inspector Jason Smith described the lengthy police operation as extraordinary.
“From my perspective, the success of this operation has been the tenacity of the entire team and all the officers involved. They have been extraordinary,” he told the Telegraph.
“My poor team has been the butt of many a joke as this investigation dragged on, often with little or no results, but ultimately we can sit back quietly now and know that we were definitely onto something.”
Police will allege a 70-pound shipment of cocaine was intercepted in Fiji, but this did not deter the group, which further conspired to import three shipments between 880 pounds and 1,300 pounds of cocaine from South America.
The accused men are expected to next appear in a Sydney court in March.
[Source:-NEW yORK pOST]