Two drug dealers from a village near Northampton are part of a criminal gang who have been made to repay nearly £1 million.
David Bowen, aged 44, and Shorne Ross, aged 43, both of Mumford Drive in Rothersthorpe, were sentenced to eight and six years, respectively, in prison after they were convicted of conspiracy to supply drugs last year.
Bowen, who pleaded guilty after being charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs (cocaine and heroin) has been ordered to repay £2,449.41 after a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing.
Ross, who was found guilty of the charge of conspiracy to supply heroin and conspiracy to supply cocaine was ordered to pay £62.02.
Another members of the gang, Martin Gray, who was sentenced to 18 years in jail after he pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs (cocaine and heroin) has been given three months to pay £615,154.22.
If Gray, aged 34, of Randolph Avenue, Woodstock, defaults on this payment he will serve a consecutive sentence of five years six months’ imprisonment.
Gavin Preston, aged 37, from Astrop Lane, Oxford, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to the same charges, has been given three months to pay £164,470. If he defaults on this payment he will serve a consecutive sentence of two years’ imprisonment.
This brings the total to £945,879 following earlier Confiscation and Cash Forfeiture Orders made at Oxford Crown Court against the rest of the drugs gang.
The men were arrested following a number of warrants carried out in February and March 2014 at properties in Oxford and Woodstock and searches of vehicles in the High Wycombe and Dover areas.
Among the items seized were 14kg of cocaine and 7kg of heroin with an estimated street value of around £24 million. Also seized was more than £50,000 in cash, a hydraulic press and various items of drug paraphernalia.
Phillip Croxson, of Thames Valley Police Economic Crime Unit said: “This has been a long and challenging investigation into the financial affairs of this organised crime group. Our attempts to secure confiscation orders and forfeitures have often been vigorously contested but I am pleased that the matter is concluded with £779,624.22 being confiscated from the last two men.
Det Insp Rachel Wheatman of the Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) said: “The Thames Valley Police Serious Organised Crime Unit has investigated the group who were concerned with supplying cocaine and heroin in the Oxford area.
“I would like to thank all the police officers and staff involved in bringing this difficult and complex case to this conclusion. Combined with the subsequent work of the Economic Crime Unit we have not only been able to disrupt the supply of drugs that these men managed but have also removed some of the profits they made from their illegal enterprise.”