Colin McLaren is the bestselling author of ‘Infiltration”, the true story of an undercover cop who infiltrated the Mafia, based on his own life. His writing and experiences has seen him much in demand as a commentator and speaker for every media outlet.
Colin joined the Police academy at the age of 24 and worked through two decades of the most volatile times in the country’s history, the 1980’s and 1990’s; where police shoot and ask questions later. He relished in an eclectic career as a naïve rookie, taking on candid, graphic observations of life on the beat, contrasting with the tough world of street gangs and heroin pushers. He moved through the ranks fast, stepping further down the dark and seedy laneways of organised crime.
In no time, he was selected to join the ‘secret squirrels’, the elite covert surveillance unit, spying on drug importers and the Mr Bigs. He then turned his hand to undercover work, buying drugs, guns and scams that send dozens of crooks to the big-house, for that long holiday: bikies, heroin pushers, cocaine smugglers and standovers.
His next challenge was to become a suit-and-tie detective at Richmond, known locally as ‘Dennis-ville,’ the stomping ground of Australia’s most infamous family of gangsters: The Pettingill clan. Dennis Allen became his target and informer, as did Kath Pettingill and Wendy Pierce.
Colin went on to become Australia’s most experienced task force detective. He served on four major assignments, in rapid succession: The Walsh Street murders, Mr Cruel child rapes and murder, The Griffith Mafia probe and the NCA bombing and murder of a policeman. He was the first detective and team leader selected each time a task force was formed, and the last one to go home of a night!
His investigations would take him across the globe, to the USA, New Guinea, chasing crooks in Greece and Malta and making enquiries in France and Italy. An all consuming career of murders, paedophilia, standover merchants, victims and injustice, contrasted with the often absurd and inept Police management.
It wasn’t long before Colin would stir worry among the underworld. He would suffer three threats on his life, once by an attempt to nail-bomb his house and another by Victor Pierce, who killed two constables at Walsh Street
For two years Colin disappeared, surfacing in Griffith, in the largest covert investigation in our history. Playing the role of a dodgy money laundering art dealer he be-friended the Godfather (Trimbole) and upper echelon of the Mafiosi, buyer truck loads of drugs and bags of pure cocaine. At the end of a drug smuggling attempt with his Italian mates, each was sent to prison for up to 13 years.