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Double life of the Mongrel Mob bikie next door

Published in All News and General News

In the eyes of his neighbours and family friends, Grantito Eduard Chacone probably seemed like a model citizen.

He appeared to be a good-natured, ordinary bloke. He loved his wife, volunteered at his children’s rugby and soccer games and worked hard in the mining industry to provide for his family.

But there was one “small matter” that perhaps Chacone’s associates were not aware of — he was also the national president of the notoriously violent Mongrel Mob bikie gang.

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Chacone’s double life unravelled in August when police raided his Halls Head home and found about 380g of methylamphetamine and about $60,000 cash.

The 36-year-old was polite and courteous to the officers who searched his home, admitting to police that some of the meth ended up in his hands after a violent act of extortion.

In preparation for Chacone’s sentencing, his friends and loved ones wrote references praising his character, his commitment to his family and his worth ethic.

The “articulate and persuasive” letters described his crimes as out-of-character or a one-off.

In sentencing Chacone, pictured, to seven years and eight months jail, District Court Judge Patrick O’Neal said it appeared he had kept the dark side of his life hidden from family friends and associates.

He said he had to wonder if Chacone’s referees knew about his gang affiliation and if so, “what they thought the Mongrel Mob was doing”.

“You are the national president of an organisation that uses extortion and extreme violence to further its goals, an organisation that is involved in drug trafficking, as you were,” Judge O’Neal said.

Grantito Chacone kept his bikie activities secret.

Grantito Chacone kept his bikie activities secret.Picture: Facebook

Despite profiting from the misery and destruction that meth causes in the community, Chacone has never tried amphetamine himself.

His childhood was “extremely disadvantaged” as a result of drug and alcohol abuse within his family and he grew up in “conditions that no child should have to experience”.

Judge O’Neal said many people who grew up in such terrible circumstances were never able to love or trust others and “might as well have been raised by wolves”.

He said Chacone overcame his difficulties and resolved to rise above his past and ensure his family had choices and were not exposed to abuse or neglect.

Judge O’Neal said while Chacone vowed never to become victimised or weakened by addiction, he was prepared to profit from that weakness in others.

“You grew up in circum-stances where you saw firsthand how people’s lives spiral out of control when addiction takes hold,” he said.

The court was told Chacone had spent almost three weeks in solitary confinement ahead of his sentencing.

Grantito Chacone hid his bikie links.

Grantito Chacone hid his bikie links.Picture: Facebook

Defence lawyer Trent Petherick raised concerns about Chacone’s safety, arguing jail could be more difficult for him than it was for the average prisoner.

Judge O’Neal said prison officers were obliged to protect all inmates and would have to have to find a long-term solution to any safety problems.

“You were the president of a criminal organisation with rival criminal organisations, all of whom use violence,” he said.

“When you get caught and prosecuted and end up in prison, it can’t come as a surprise that there might be some tension or difficulty in that regard.” The search of Chacone’s home also uncovered an encrypted BlackBerry and accounting records that detailed the profits he expected the club to get from the sale of drugs.

“Club gets $4500 always from one ounce,” one entry said.

Chacone pleaded guilty to possessing a prohibited drug with intent to sell or supply and possessing stolen or unlawfully obtained cash.

His sentence was backdated to August and he will be eligible for parole in April 2024.

Writer: Elle Farcic
Source: thewest.com.au
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