MALCOLM Naden, one of Australia's most wanted fugitives, has been captured west of Gloucester.
A senior police source told the Herald no one was injured when they moved in on the armed and dangerous man in rugged bushland on the NSW north coast.
The capture puts an end to an at times embarrassing hunt for the former abattoir worker who has managed to elude police for nearly seven years.
"We've just got off a satellite phone, so it's pretty remote but they've got him and locked him up," he said.
"Pretty excited about this," the police officer said.
Naden was being held at Taree police station this morning.
He has been wanted since the discovery of his cousin Kristy Scholes's body in the bedroom of his family's home in Dubbo, in central NSW, in June 2005.
Police also link him to the murder of another of his cousins, Lateesha Nolan, who was last seen in January 2005.
Naden is also linked to the aggravated indecent assault of a 15-year-old girl in Dubbo in 2004.
A 33-year-old police officer was wounded when Naden open fired in December last year after police received information leading them to a campsite near Nowendoc.
Earlier this month, NSW police announced Naden was in possession of a semi-automatic firearm.
The NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and Assistant Commissioner Carlene York will address the media this morning following the arrest of Naden in the Upper Hunter.
Police officers from the Tactical Operations Unit and Dog Unit surrounded and arrested Naden, 38, on a private property 30 kilometres west of Gloucester about 12.04am.
Police have seized a rifle which was found at the location and are conducting a search of the area.
Police Commissioner Scipione said that the arrest followed an enormous operation, and thanked the people of northern NSW for their invaluable assistance and support.
"The arrest of this man this morning marks the end of a very difficult and lengthy investigation and search operation by NSW Police," Commissioner Scipione said.
"This result could not have been achieved without the cooperation of communities in northern NSW whose assistance and vital information has helped police over a long period of time.
"People in those communities deserve praise for their assistance and their perseverance."
Commissioner Scipione also praised the work of police officers involved in the operation
"Today's arrest also is a tribute to the many different elements of the NSW Police Force who have come together and operated in a very tough environment," Commissioner Scipione said.
"I want to pay tribute to those people from the Tactical Operations Unit, the Dog Unit, the Air Wing, our general duties police and other specialist units whose work has been invaluable. Everyone who contributed can stand tall."
The Commander of Strike Force Durkin, Assistant Commissioner Carlene York, said police always believed the operation would succeed.
"We never doubted that we could get to this point," Assistant Commissioner York said.
"Our people were operating in extremely difficult conditions and we had to adapt our strategies along the way. However, we always understood that every day brought us closer and that our tactics would prevail. This was a game of patience and I am very proud of everyone involved.
"The fact that we have made an arrest today without any harm to members of the public or police officers gives me a lot of comfort."