Hove drug dealer ordered to hand over £66k

Posted On 18 Nov 2011 at 4:47 pm

A court has ordered a Hove man to hand over £66,000 that he made from drug dealing.

Lee Johnson, 47, of Blatchington Road, Hove, was ordered to pay the cash at Lewes Crown Court today (Friday 18 November).

The order was made under the Proceeds of Crime Act, giving Johnson six months to pay.

If he fails to pay up he will serve a further 18 months and will still have to liable for the debt.

The Spearhead

On Friday 4 March Johnson pleaded guilty at the same court to 12 charges of having controlled class A, B and C drugs with intent to supply.

He also admitted two charges of producing a class B drug.

On Thursday 14 April he was jailed for four years.

Johnson was arrested on Monday 6 December last year after a police stop and search in the street in Brighton in which drugs were discovered.

His home was searched and a substantial amount of drugs were discovered. Nearly £7,000 cash was also found on him.

Detectives also found an electricity bill in Johnson’s BMW car which was parked near by.

But the bill was addressed to someone with a different name at a rented unit at Town House Farm in Thakeham, near Storrington.

False identity

Sussex Police obtained a warrant and searched the address where they found a cannabis factory and a large amount of cannabis resin.

Officers also found smaller amounts of skunk cannabis, herbal cannabis, cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy and other drugs.

The stash had a total potential street value of about £45,000.

Inquiries revealed that the name on the electricity bill was a false identity created by Johnson.

He had rented the farm building for a period of seven years and paid the rent in cash.

The farm owners had no connection whatever with Johnson’s activities.

Detective Sergeant Pete Billin, of the Sussex Police Money Laundering Team, said: “Following up the good work by the Brighton and Hove officers we were able to put together a detailed account of Johnson’s financial dealings.

“Today, despite his trying to conceal his assets by transferring them into his brother’s name, he was ordered to pay a confiscation order which reflected the criminal benefit attributable to his drug dealing activities.

“We also managed to get a seizure order for the £7,000 he had on him when arrested – not bad for an unemployed able-bodied man who was also claiming housing benefit to cover the £600 a month rent of his home.

“The money that will be confiscated can now go back into legitimate society.

“It is another example of the way in which we will take every opportunity to seize criminal profits.

“Increasingly criminals such as Johnson are having a nasty shock when they find that they may not just go to prison but can also lose their ill-gotten gains.”

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