Agape cult man Kevin Andrew Moore told police he bought 22,000 bullets 'at good price'

Adelaide Now, Australia/May 6, 2011

An Agape cult member accused of possessing 780kg of ammunition told police he bought the 22,000 bullets "at a good price".

Kevin Andrew Moore, 51, of Mount Compass, appeared in the Victor Harbor Magistrates Court yesterday.

He pleaded not guilty to seven weapons and ammunition-related charges.

He was accompanied by supporters, including fellow cult member Tony Di Blasio.

The Advertiser has previously reported cult leader Rocco Leo has vanished overseas. A warrant has been issued for his arrest on assault charges.

Opening the trial, prosecutor Fred Keal said police had seized 22,658 rounds of ammunition from Moore's home in May last year.

Moore, sitting in the court gallery, listened intently as Senior Constable Keal accused him of storing firearms and ammunition insecurely.

"A handgun, a 9mm pistol, was not secure. It was found to be in a storage case in a wardrobe in the accused's bedroom," he said.

"When first questioned, the accused said he kept the firearm in the bedroom because of threats (he had received)."

Sen-Constable Keal said there was no plausible explanation for the "excessive" amount of ammunition held on the property.

He said Moore told police he bought the ammunition at a "good price" and was going to sell it to some other club members despite not having a licence to do so.

Moore allegedly gave police various other reasons for his stockpile, in subsequent conversations.

Giving evidence, Sergeant Peter Walter-Smith said the ammunition was held in a large engineering shed at the back of the property.

Sgt Walter-Smith said the properly stored firearms, for which Moore was licensed, were held in a different, smaller shed nearer the house. Both sheds were locked.

The police were conducting an audit of Moore's registered firearms when they executed a general search warrant and found the ammunition in the shed and an insecure pistol in the bedroom, with 95 rounds of ammunition.

The ammunition found included cartridges for a 12-gauge shotgun.

Sgt Walter-Smith said police were "suspicious" of Moore but had not intended to seize his registered weapons until they discovered the excess ammunition in boxes, a cabinet and a backpack in the second shed.

"It was a combination of a routine audit and, based on intelligence received, we thought we must do a check of the address," he said. "Moore unlocked that (second) shed and inside we located a considerable amount of ammunition.

"I arranged a utility to attend, to take all the ammunition securely to Mount Barker police station."

Cormac McCarron, for Moore, said the secure firearms were individually padlocked in a cabinet, with keys to each padlock belonging to the varying members of the Moore family who owned the firearms.

Mr McCarron said on the day of the raid, Moore's daughter Jessica collected the keys, to release the firearms, from family members in the house, while Moore spoke with police.

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