Gavin Preston has been recruited in jail by the Comanchero outlaw bikie gang

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ONE of Victoria’s most dangerous prisoners has been recruited in jail by the Comanchero outlaw bikie gang.

Gavin Preston, considered so dangerous by police they dubbed him “wrecking machine”, is understood to have been “patched” by the state’s most powerful gang.

Gun-for-hire Preston is suspected of being involved in the near-fatal shooting of former Bandido sergeant-at-arms Toby Mitchell in Brunswick in ­November 2011. He is serving an 11-year term in Barwon prison over the shooting death of a drug dealer.

Prison intelligence intercepted calls to Preston which indicate he is actively recruiting other inmates in a tussle for bikie muscle.

Preston was a founding member of the Prisoner of War jail gang along with close friend Matthew Johnson, the killer of underworld boss Carl Williams.

But a bitter falling out ­between the pair is believed to have convinced Preston to be “patched” despite previously refusing.


The Comancheros — who are recruiting in most prisons in Victoria — are run by the newly anointed national president Mick Murray.

A priority for law enforcement agencies, he is considered the most powerful outlaw bikie in the nation.

Murray is a person of interest in relation to both a series of gun attacks and firebombings of Kittens strip club venues in Melbourne and the drive-by shooting of banned “sports scientist’’ Stephen Dank’s Ascot Vale home.

His status as top Comanchero comes as one of their ­rivals, the Mongols, have taken a hit to their senior ranks.

The Sunday Herald Sun has been told there has been an exodus of members in Victoria including at least five of their key figures, including Sherif Derias and brothers Matt and Nathan Benvenuto.

The plummeting membership — there were more than 100 patched Mongols three years ago — is blamed on jail sentences and others simply leaving.

One source said the Mongols have shut two of their three Victorian clubhouses, in Werribee and Tullamarine. The Port Melbourne chapter remains active.

Victoria’s prisons, particularly the Metropolitan Remand Centre in Ravenhall, segregates prisoners affiliated with top clubs the Comancheros, Hells Angels, Rebels, Bandidos and Mongols.

Preston has been sought by bikie gangs before. The Bandidos wanted to use his influence and enforcer status in about 2010-11 while he was out of jail, before their relationship turned sour.

The attack on Toby Mitchell made Preston a target and saw Christopher “Badness’’ Binse place a tracker on Preston’s car and stalk him to his home.

The murder plot was disrupted by heavily armed police raiding Preston’s house in Melbourne’s southeast.

Preston, 43, has a long history of violent crime, graduating to killer in 2012. He shot drug dealer Adam Khoury at a North Melbourne apartment, which he successfully argued was in self-defence. On bail at the time, was being tailed by police but the officers were called off him shortly before the shooting.

Two 2010 phone calls he made to an inmate housed with Carl Williams were later scrutinised over whether they were connected to the murder of the gangland boss.

Preston refers to Williams as a “dog’’ and that the inmate’s association with him would see him “tarred with the same brush’’. He advises the inmate to separate himself from Williams, warning “you haven’t got one friend’’ and of “making weak decisions’’.

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Anthony Dowsley
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