"We believe the offences were imminent and potentially would've occurred this week, and so we needed to act today," Detective Inspector Hutchins said.
"If (conspiracy to commit arson on a home thereby endangering life)'s aggravated, which it would be, because it's a police officer and judges, (the men would face) up to 18 years."
"As the pair is now before the courts on very serious charges we are limited in what can be said about the process and nature of the investigation," he said.
"There's no doubt that this operation thwarted a plan that could have easily ended in multiple deaths and significant loss of property."
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"It's the first I'm aware of it in our State of this significance.
"I've never seen anything like this before to attack two judges and a senior police officer . a very serious offence."
He said four houses were also searched on Sunday in Magill, Brahma Lodge, Parafield Gardens and Kilburn.
Police will allege the 63 year old offered to pay the 44 year old to commit the offences, which were allegedly an act of retribution.
On Sunday, the men, aged 63 and 44 years, were charged with conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to commit arson on a home thereby endangering life.
South Australia Police (SAPOL) arrested two Murray Bridge men who were allegedly planning to murder two judges and destroy the judges' homes, along with the home of a senior officer of police.
. they're State institutions, you've got the judiciary and the police.
A SAPOL spokesman said he did not believe the men were involved with criminal gangs and were not involved with bikie gangs.
"However, I can say that at all times the safety of those being targeted, and that of their families, was our very highest priority.
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He said the men, who are not related, would appear in the Murray Bridge Magistrates Court on Monday morning.
Detective Inspector Hutchins said conspiracy to murder could lead to life imprisonment, and conspiracy to commit arson on a home thereby endangering life could be up to 15 years.
"Their operation has been highly confidential, intensive, over the last six weeks working 24 seven, with a dedicated team of 12 police officers," he said.
He said police would continue to monitor any ongoing risks.
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"There's no doubt this was a very stressful situation for them and they have managed it with absolute professionalism."
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Murray Bridge men arrested for conspiracy to murder
He said the operation involved up to 30 police officers at times, and over 25 police officers were involved in Sunday's two arrests.
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Major Crime Detective Inspector Greg Hutchins said the two month operation was complex and carried a high degree of risk.
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