Armed police are standing guard outside the house owned by the president of the Kawerau Mongrel Mob.

A late-model Ford truck and jet ski sit in the driveway of the home of Frank Milosevic on Domett Ave in Kawerau.

Around the corner, a man believed to be his son was arrested by police without any problem.

Kawerau locals have been curiously watching the comings and goings at the police station in town, one remarking they have only seen "one cop" that they know.

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"We sort of knew this was coming, we just didn't know when," said one onlooker.

The investigation has been led by the National Organised Crime Group, which is based in Auckland.

A press conference with senior members of the police is likely to be held in Kawerau later this afternoon.

Earlier this morning, the Herald watched as police raided the Mongrel Mob's pad in Kawerau.

Police used a grinder to cut open the doors to the gang headquarters. Dogs could be heard barking inside.

Police are searching properties across the Bay of Plenty as they target organised crime and the distribution of illicit drugs in the community, they said this morning.

"The majority of these warrants are being executed at properties in Kawerau, Whakatane and Opotiki," police said.

"The public can expect to see a significant police presence in these areas."

Kawerau, in the eastern Bay of Plenty, is a "red" town and the Mongrel Mob is heavily entrenched in the community.

While there is a noticeable police presence in Kawerau - known to locals as K Town - the search warrants have been low key.

At one home, a man wearing a Mongrel Mob T-shirt is quietly chatting to police on the porch. At another, a vehicle was boxed in the driveway while trying to leave. At a third house nearby, a woman was showing uniformed police around the property.

The Herald is seeking more comment from the police.

This morning's raids come a week after police arrested three people linked to the Barbarians chapter of the Mongrel Mob in Opotiki on methamphetamine offences.

In the past 18 months, a number of criminal investigations in the eastern Bay of Plenty have involved members of the Mongrel Mob.

Rival Tribesmen gang member Don Turei died after being knocked from his motorcycle near Te Kaha by a vehicle in November 2016.

Police have raided the Mongrel Mob's pad in the Bay of Plenty town of Kawerau.

Turei was a guest at a wedding near the local Mob gang pad. After a year-long investigation, a member of the Mongrel Mob chapter in Porirua has been charged with murder.

Then in January last year, members of the Kawerau Mongrel Mob and the Outback Blacks, a junior Black Power group, exchanged gunfire in broad daylight in Whakatane.

The conflict was triggered after the body of Tahu Kingi, a longtime member of the Kawerau mob, was being prepared for his tangi at a funeral home in Whakatane.

The particular street is considered by the Outback Blacks as their territory and members of the two gangs tried to run each over in cars.

In retaliation, dozens of Outback Blacks hid in trees to ambush Kingi's funeral procession from Kawerau to Whakatane.

Both sides fired at each other and the small seaside town went into lockdown. About 20 gang members were arrested and now face trial.