Posted: Wed 28th Sep 2016

Proceeds Of Crime Seized From North Wales Drug Dealers.

This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Sep 28th, 2016

Three men whose drug related crimes spanned north Wales, throughout the UK, Thailand and the Netherlands have been ordered to pay over £220,000 at a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) Hearing at Mold Crown Court on 26th September 2016. The three were sentenced in 2015 at the same Court for conspiracy to supply cannabis after a successful investigation by the North Wales Police Serious and Organised Crime Unit. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The POCA hearing found that William O’Brien, 33, from Wrexham, had benefited from his crimes to a total of £725,363.31 and had assets totalling £1,195. A Confiscation Order for this amount was made against him. In October 2015 he had been sentenced to four years imprisonment for his involvement in the conspiracy. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It was agreed that James O’Brien, 30, of Erbistock, who had received a suspended 12 month sentence last October, had a criminal benefit of £22,745.47 with assets totaling £6,736.50. A confiscation order for that sum was made. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In his absence it was determined that a third male, David Higgins, 44, from Leigh, had benefited from his crimes to a total of over £214,637.24 with sufficient assets in order to meet the order. In October 2015 he had been sentenced to a two year prison sentence suspended for two years. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

William O’Brien and James O’Brien were given three months to pay the orders or serve 6 months in prison if they failed to do so. David Higgins was given three months to pay the order or face 3 years imprisonment. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

North Wales Police Financial Investigator, Janine Kelly said “North Wales Police are sending out the message that those involved in drug trafficking offences will have their assets taken from them when they are caught and convicted. We want the assistance of the public to bring these people to justice. Any information will be taken seriously and appropriate action will be taken. This is another example of how under Operation Scorpion North Wales Police will actively pursue criminals and will use the powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to strip offenders of any property, including their homes, cars and cash that they possess.’ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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