Two convicted drug dealers from York and Leeds have been ordered to repay a total £13,655 by York Crown Court.
A hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act last week (26 November 2013), heard that Richard George Oldroyd, 36, from Whixley near York, had benefited from his crimes to the value of £120,000.
He was ordered to repay the total of his realisable assets which amounted to £12,385 and includes high value watches, a diamond ring and personalised number plates.
James Christian Deegan, 37, of Hornbean Way, Leeds, was found to have benefited from his criminal conduct to the value of £26,000. He was ordered to repay £1,270 which is the total of his realisable assets.
Both men have been given three months to repay the amount or Oldroyd faces a further six months’ imprisonment and Deegan a further 30 days, and they will still have to repay the money. They are also liable to pay the remainder of the criminal benefit out of any future assets.
Oldroyd was charged with the production and supply of cannabis and money laundering and at York Crown Court on 4 March 2013. He pleaded Guilty and was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment.
Deegan pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply of cannabis and was sentenced on 25 June 2013 to12 months’ imprisonment.
Financial Investigator Katharine Wells of North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit, said:
This is a clear message to the criminal world that crime does not pay and the law will catch up with you.
The Proceeds of Crime Act allows us to hit criminals in their pocket – where it hurts the most. Although the amount Ordered to repay is a fraction of the amount the pair benefitted from, they will remain liable to pay the full amount of their llegally earned income from any future assets.
If you suspect anyone of living off illegal earnings, please do not hesitate to call the police, we will take action.
The men were convicted after police officers discovered a cannabis farm on Marston Moor Business Park at Tockwith.
In March 2011, police officers were alerted to a suspicious Vauxhall Vivaro van travelling around the park. A short time later, the same van was seen being transported by a breakdown truck. Officers stopped the truck, which was being driven by Deegan, and discovered 29 mature cannabis plants in the Vivaro van.
Police officers carried out further searches of the industrial estate and with the use of a sniffer dog, discovered two industrial units being used to cultivate cannabis.
The units were run by Richard Oldroyd under the guise of a motor vehicle repair business.
Each unit possessed a wealth of evidence to show that cannabis was being cultivated on an industrial scale in a professional manner. The potential value of all the cannabis plants was estimated to be over £350,000.
The pair were arrested in March 2011.