Drug dealers ordered to pay back crime profits

Fri 15th, Jun

A convicted drug dealer has been ordered to repay more than £80,000 of his ill-gotten gains.

James Smith, 27, of Orchard Drive, St Albans, was jailed for nine years in November 2017 for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and possessing criminal property, after he was found to be the head of a Hertfordshire drugs dealing operation. Following an investigation by the Eastern Region Special Operation Unit’s (ERSOU) regional economic crime unit, a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) confiscation order to the sum of £82,548 was made against Smith at a hearing at St Albans Crown Court on Wednesday (13 June). He must pay the money within three months or face a further two year sentence. Smith’s co-offender Gary Ross, 48 of Black Boy Wood, Bricket Wood, who was jailed for six and a half years for his part in the drug dealing business, was made subject to a POCA order to the value of £3,486, which he may pay within 28 days or face a further two months in prison. A number of cars owned by the duo, as well as watches, designer clothing, and phones etc. will be sold in order to satisfy the order. Paul Fitzsimmons, ERSOU’s Financial Investigation Manager, said: “These drug dealers made a substantial amount of money through their illegal business so it is only right that they are made to pay for their actions and return their ill-gotten gains. “We’re pleased with the orders made against them and we will continue to take action against convicted criminals to prove that crime really does not pay.”