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York Drug Dealer Jailed And Vehicles Worth £77,000 Seized

Percy Smith

10:41am 2nd April 2014

Percy Smith, 43, of Plot 9, Ryedale Caravan Site, Water Lane, York, pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to supply cannabis, one charge of conspiracy to supply heroin and one charge of money laundering in November 2012.

Three warrants under the Misuse of Drugs Act were executed at the home of Smith and caravans linked to him between June 2011 and February 2012. This resulted in the seizure of vehicles, cash, drugs and equipment associated with producing and supplying illegal drugs.

Officers found evidence of cannabis cultivation including lamps, fans and a growing tent; £3,000 worth of heroin split into various quantities and large amounts of cash for which Smith offered no evidence to prove its legitimate origin. 

Despite living on state benefits, a financial investigation revealed Smith was able to purchase four brand new vehicles worth a total of nearly £77,000.

Police seized these vehicles in September 2011 under a restraint order. The proceeds of the sale of the vehicles will form part of a future confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

North Yorkshire Police conducted two parallel investigations, one into the supply of drugs and one using the specialist skills of a financial investigator to prove the offence of money laundering.

An associate of Smiths, Richard John Miner, 47, from London, was also handed a 12 month jail term suspended for two years for his part in the set-up.

Acting Sergeant Toby Gorwood, who led the financial investigation, said: “Percy Smith was well supported by the state but undertook criminal activities over a significant period of time with the sole aim of financing a materialistic and self-indulgent lifestyle he could not otherwise afford.

“Smith selfishly fuelled drug abuse in York and the associated criminality which comes with it. This is something which is abhorrent to law abiding people who work hard for their living.”

A/Sgt Gorwood added: “The seizure of Smith’s assets and subsequent imprisonment sends a clear warning to those who engage in criminal activity. While you may benefit from your crimes in the short-term, your actions will catch up with you and the police will use the law to its full potential to deprive you of your freedom as well as any financial rewards of that unlawful lifestyle.”

Detective Constable Adam Heatlie who led the criminal investigation, said: “Organised and coordinated crime of this nature will not be tolerated within the communities of North Yorkshire. 

“Those who choose to undertake in this level of criminality will face the full weight of the police and its resources in detecting and prosecuting such cases. The residents of North Yorkshire can be reassured that there will be not let up in our pursuit of those who indulge in this level of criminality”

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