A drug dealer from Hove has been ordered to pay £225,000 from the profit he made cultivating cannabis plants or go back to prison.
Dennis Tanner, 57, of Meadow Close, Hove, was jailed for three years and four months for cannabis production.
He grew the plants at the premises of a company that he ran which specialised in restoring classic cars and making kit cars at an industrial estate in Small Dole.
Financial investigators working for Sussex Police brought him back to Chichester Crown Court, where he was sentenced to jail in October 2013.
As a result of their evidence, a judge ordered Tanner to hand over his profits or go back to prison for six months. He is currently out on licence.
If Tanner fails to pay the money, he will still be liable for the debt even if her returns to prison.
He was arrested in January 2013 after detectives raided his workshops on the Mackley industrial estate in Henfield Road, Small Dole.
Sussex Police said: “In two upper rooms at the main workshop, officers found 1,500 plants in various stages of growth, with an estimated street value of £120,000.
“In court Tanner admitted that he had been engaged in drug production for a sustained period.”
He was ordered to hand over his profits from producing drugs under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
Sussex Police said: “Funds seized by the courts through POCA confiscation or cash forfeiture orders go to the central government exchequer.
“However, a proportion of this is returned to law enforcement.
“POCA-derived funding is distributed equally between the police and crime commissioner and the chief constable.
“Sussex Police receive 50 per cent cash back from cash forfeitures and 18.75 per cent cash back from confiscation orders such as this.
“The force currently employs an extra six financial investigators and two financial intelligence officers from part of these funds to help continue work in seizing criminal assets, with the remainder being used to support crime reduction and diversion projects.”
Detective Inspector Mick Richards, of the Sussex Police Economic Crime Unit, said: “This was a painstaking and complex financial investigation that unpicked the business accounts and extent of Mr Tanner’s criminal enterprise.
“This highlights the value of financial investigations and the pressure we can bring to bear on criminals by taking their illegally obtained assets.”
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