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Bail for man charged over gun stash after EastLink shooting raids

A month after his arrest, Mr Heil applied for bail on Wednesday at the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

His lawyer Damien Shields said his client has an operation booked for the end of March.

Josh Rider (left) and Aaron Ong (right) who have been charged with the murder of Paul Virgona.

Josh Rider (left) and Aaron Ong (right) who have been charged with the murder of Paul Virgona.

“I know he’s a young man, but he has profound varicose veins,” he told the court.

Mr Shields said he believed there would be questions about the strength of the prosecution case.

Mr Heil has no prior convictions, lives with his mother and has been employed full time in the building industry for the past 11 years.

The prosecutor did not oppose the application for bail but imposed stricts conditions on Mr Heil, who is required to report to Frankston police station three times a week, is not allowed to leave Victoria and must surrender his passport.

Police raided a property in Port Melbourne in January as part of an investigation into the shooting death of fruiterer Paul Virgona (right) on EastLink.

Police raided a property in Port Melbourne in January as part of an investigation into the shooting death of fruiterer Paul Virgona (right) on EastLink.Credit:The Age

He was also ordered not to associate directly or indirectly with any member of the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang or the Raiders motorcycle club.

The two men charged with Mr Virgona’s murder are accused of opening fire on the 46-year-old father as he drove to work on EastLink at Donvale during the early hours of November 9 last year.

Mr Ong and Mr Rider are due to face court again on May 27.

They are accused of waiting for Mr Virgona to leave his family home in Croydon and following him in a stolen Mercedes-Benz sedan, before firing 11 rounds from a nine-millimetre semi-automatic handgun into the fruiterer’s van.

Police are yet to identify a link between the two accused killers and Mr Virgona.

Assistant Commissioner Tess Walsh told a press conference in January that detectives were at pains to point out there was no evidence Mr Virgona or any of his family members had criminal or Mongols links.

In January police raided a dozen properties linked to the Mongols, including a clubhouse in Port Melbourne where they found six guns and ammunition.

Police also raided the Mongols’ Ferntree Gully clubhouse, as well as the South Melbourne tattoo parlour co-owned by Mongols member Toby Mitchell and former Richmond footballer Jake King.

Mr Mitchell’s Southbank apartment was also raided. Mr King and Mr Mitchell are not accused of any involvement or wrongdoing.

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