Specialist Team Values Drugs Gang’s Assets as Over £1Million

High value watches, cash, houses, cars, a static caravan - and a part interest in a French carp fishing lake are among convicted criminals’ assets identified by the North-East Regional Asset Recovery Team (N-E RART).

1 This follows the conviction of 22 people for drugs offences after an investigation into organised crime groups (OCGs) from Wales, Merseyside and the North East.

Operation Roderigo began in August 2012 and was one of Cleveland Police’s largest ever drugs investigations, lasting two years.  The OCGs were involved in distributing unprecedented amounts of high grade/import standard class A drugs (heroin, cocaine and amphetamines).

Twenty two people were jailed for between 2 years and 12 years with 19 of the cases then deemed eligible for confiscation orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).

The final defendant Shaun Stanton appeared at Teesside Crown Court this morning, Friday, 2nd March, where he has been given a confiscation order of £453,218.12 (the alleged proceeds of his criminal activity) and has to pay it back in three months.

DS Thomas Maughan of N-E RART said: “Operation Roderigo was a great success in terms of how the operation was run between Cleveland Police, Merseyside Police and the National Crime Agency and we saw some great results at court.

“Once the defendants had been jailed, the N-E RART alongside the Crown Prosecution Service worked tirelessly to see exactly how these criminals had benefited from their illicit activity.  It’s now apparent that they have gained assets worth over £1million from crime.

“Anyone who has gained financially or materially from crime should know that conviction at court and a jail sentence does not end the process.  We will do all we can to recover assets whether this be physical property, goods or cash.  Crime does not and should not pay.”

French carp fishing lake

Seized cash

Drugs and cash seized

Bag of seized amphetamine