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Far South Coast man charged following online grooming investigation

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A 49 year-old man has been charged following an investigation by Strike Force Trawler detectives into alleged online grooming on the far South Coast.

In September 2019, detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crime Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit began engaging online with a man.

Police will allege in court that the man believed he was speaking with a 14-year-old girl and engaged in sexually explicit conversations about acts he wished to perform on the child and sent sexually explicit material.

Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives, with assistance from South Coast Police District and Southern Region Operation Support Group, arrested a 49-year-old man at a home in Moruya about 11am yesterday.

Shortly after the arrest, a search warrant was executed at the home, where detectives seized a rifle, ammunition, mobile phone and laptop.

The man was taken to Batemans Bay Police Station and charged with use carriage service to groom under 16 years for sex, possess unregistered firearm, possess ammunition without holding licence/permit/authority, not keep firearm safely and possess unauthorised firearm.

He was refused bail to appear at Wollongong Local Court via video link today.