THE NORTHERN TERRITORY POLICE didn’t like the way the NT Local Court dealt with the recent self-defence case, so they decided to take the law into their own hands.
PLAIN CLOTHED AND UNIFORMED POLICE in the NT have raided the house of Ron Sterry, who recently beat police against gun charges after he went to his neighbour’s aid.
The raid was carried out with the support of the drug squad when he was interstate.
They even tried to open Ron’s safe by drilling it because the keys were not in the house – until they were stopped by his lawyer.
The police walked away without any guns. Instead they took his chilli oil and vinegar.
Ron's 'lawful' behaviour
Readers might recall that Ron faced five gun charges, three of which were dropped before he went to trial. He was found not guilty of the fourth, and found guilty of a fifth charge (carrying a weapon in public) but he got a good behaviour bond for that.
The magistrate hearing the case saw through the police case and described Ron’s actions as being a ‘lawful excuse’, and ordered the immediate return of his licence, firearms and ammunition.
This was a big win for the Australian shooting community because it showed where protection with firearms was legitimate. Our story was shared on Facebook over 1,000 times and seen by more than a quarter of a million readers.
These are huge numbers – and we think this new story will reach even more people.
Unhappy with the result, police went to seize Ron’s guns again.
The basis for this is not clear but it seems to be directly related to the court case in that he was found guilty of one of the charges – even though the court dealt with that at the time. It’s relevant to note that the police made no application for his guns to be taken – and you’ll recall the magistrate specifically ordered their return.
The female senior constable leading the raid first went to Ron’s workplace, then to his house where they had no response to a knock on the door.
The officer then called Ron saying ‘she had paperwork for him’ and demanded he came to the front door when he politely told her he was in Adelaide.
She then accused him of lying and said she ‘knew he was in there’ and was watching her on his security cameras. That’s true, because we’ve got over 30GB of footage covering the raid.
Police arrive at Ron’s place.
Searching at the rear of his place
Going through Ron’s bins, before the search warrant arrives
She said he (Ron) was “making this really difficult”, before hanging up on him. Unhappy, the police went back to his workplace where Ron’s boss went to Ron’s house with a key to let them in.
Cops reason for a search warrant
When Ron’s boss arrived, the drug squad was already there, armed with a search warrant.
While details are a bit sketchy, it would seem the police first on the scene looked through the windows of Ron’s house and saw part of an off-the-shelf chemistry set.
That’s because Ron has an interest in chemistry and has in fact applied to do a degree in chemistry (which is why he was in Adelaide at the time). He was intending to start his degree last year, but this was delayed by the earlier trial.
To be clear, Ron did not have anything in his possession that is illegal or was a precursor to anything illegal – just the kit.
Yet the police saw what he had as a precursor to the manufacture of Methamphetamine. We understand they seized some of the vinegar, which, if the drug squad tried hard enough, would allow them to make nail polish remover.
Police drill into Ron’s safe
Police go after Ron's guns
It was during this time the senior connie called Ron a second time, demanding to know where the keys to the safe were.
Ron said they were with him in Adelaide. This resulted in the cops pulling out their drills to get his guns.
Or at least they tried to, until Ron’s lawyer, Jon Bortoli, stepped in to stop them continuing because the police had failed to follow the correct process.
The treatment of Ron follows the recent negative publicity that the NT Police drummed up for themselves over their treatment of fellow officer, Zachary Rolfe, who was cleared over charges for fatally shooting a 19-year-old in the remote community of Yuendumu.
Cops' hot taste
Among the several items the police seized were several quantities of unidentified liquids, one of which, according to Ron, is a vial of chilli oil – a common ingredient in Chinese and Asian foods.
Among his experiments has been the extraction of caffeine from tea and coffee, acetone from vinegar (which we understand police also took), and other extractions from common household products.
We stood by Ron before, and we’ll do it again.
This is likely to become a more interesting fight because the basis for the raid is pretty thin and seems to cover matters that the courts have already dealt with.
In the meantime, Ron needs our help – again. We’ve already re-engaged Jon Bortoli as his lawyer and are working hard to see if we can have this addressed through whatever means may be possible.
We want to send a powerful message to the NT Police not to interfere with a shooter who has done nothing wrong, so have started a new fighting fund to help Ron out.
Plus, we might even send a chemistry kit to the NT Police Commissioner.