Cannabis dealer ordered to re-pay £114,000


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A DRUG dealer who earned more than £1million from his crimes will need to pay back some of the cash after playing his part in supplying cannabis, fraud and illegal money lending.

Bristol Crown Court has ordered Stephen Waters to pay £114,486 after an investigation by Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s financial investigation unit.

In March 2009, following an investigation into the supply of drugs in the Weston area, he was arrested and charged for his part in a conspiracy to supply cannabis resin.

Just under 5kgs of cannabis resin was seized during the operation with a street value of almost £14,000.

During the investigation further offences were identified involving fraud, with Waters applying for mortgages falsely claiming his wife earned £120,000 a year.

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Waters, of Bleadon Hill, was further arrested and charged with the offences.

In September 2010, as part of a separate investigation by the South West Illegal Money Lending Team, Waters was also arrested for illegal financial activities.

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The 54-year-old pleaded guilty in 2011 to three counts of illegal money lending.

Following that he also pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis resin and to dishonestly obtaining a mortgage advance by deception.

Waters was sentenced in September 2011 and was given 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, in relation to the drugs.

He was also given six months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, in relation to the mortgage fraud and a community sentence for the illegal money lending.

On March 1 a confiscation hearing was held at Bristol Crown Court where His Honour Judge Longman heard evidence from the prosecution in relation to Waters’ assets and from Waters himself.

On Friday he was told he had benefited from crime to the value of £73,300 under the Criminal Justice Act and £1,070,397 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The judge made a confiscation order for £114,486, which represents all his assets.

If Waters does not pay the amount ordered, he will face a default sentence of two years in prison and will still owe the amount outstanding.

Dr Kirstie Cogram, the manager of Avon & Somerset financial investigation unit, said: “We are committed to seizing all assets that criminals have gained as a result of crime.

“It is not acceptable that they benefit from illegal activities and we will relentlessly pursue them through the courts to ensure their money is taken.”

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