Brighton drug dealer to repay criminal profits
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Brighton drug dealer already serving a prison sentence of more than four years has now been ordered to repay more than £45,000 criminal profits from his crimes, following an investigation by police financial crime experts.
On 8 April at Lewes Crown Court, Dwaine Butcher, 26, now of Winlaton Road, Bromley, South East London, was given a Confiscation Order under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), requiring him to pay £45,235 within three months or face a further 21 month prison sentence and still have to pay the full amount.
Butcher had been sentenced on 21 July 2020 at Lewes Crown Court to 52 months imprisonment, having pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply. He had been arrested in October 2018, during a Sussex Police day of action on County Lines, at an address at Preston Park Avenue.
However when police financial investigators looked into his possessions, savings and other income they identified the assets that the court was satisfied came from crime. These comprised a Rolex watch valued at £22,500 and £22,735 in cash.
Using powers under POCA, the force has already successfully applied to courts during financial year 2019/20 for 228 confiscation orders following criminal convictions, valued at £1,829 million. Over the same period the force also obtained 41 civil forfeiture orders valued at £259,000 following cash seizures from suspected offenders, and orders valued at over £418,000 for compensation to individual victims.
Figures for 2020/21, currently being collated, are expected to exceed those totals.
Detective Inspector Mark O'Brien of the force's Economic Crime Unit said "These orders come from the continued hard work by our officers, in particular our expert financial investigators.
"Wherever possible we now target not just the criminals but also the profits of their crimes, whether they are from drug dealing or any other form of criminal activity. It can take time and each investigation results in an application for a court-authorised confiscation order."
Notes to Editors;
Any funds obtained through POCA confiscation or cash forfeiture orders go to the central Government exchequer.
However a proportion of this is returned to law enforcement. Sussex Police receive 50% cash back from cash forfeitures and 18.75% cash back from seized confiscation orders.
POCA funding received by Sussex Police is then distributed equally between the Police and Crime Commissioner and the force.
The force currently employ extra Financial Investigators and Financial Intelligence Officers from part of these funds to continue the fight in seizing criminal assets, with the remainder being used to support crime reduction and diversion projects.
For further information about how POCA works see this site.