Cannabis dealer stripped of earnings

PCSOs and police officers around Priory School this afternoon

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A DRUG dealer is to be stripped of almost £50,000 of profits made by selling cannabis.

Darren Valler was given a confiscation order of £48,000 at Chichester Crown Court.

This was the amount of cash and the value of goods bought from growing cannabis plants at his home in Drove Lane, Earnley, near Chichester.

The 46-year-old and his brother Randy, 43, had been sentenced to 30 months in jail by a judge at the same court in March for producing cannabis.

The court heard that police carried out a search warrant in August 2010 after receiving a tip-off.

Various sheds were searched with officers finding cannabis plants at different stages of maturity.

Police found 22 mature plants which would have been ready for harvesting, and a further 100 cannabis plants of smaller sizes.

Through analysis it was established that the farm had the potential to yield 2kg of cannabis with a street value of nearly £14,000.

Detective Constable David Midgley, of Chichester CID, said: ‘This investigation was intelligence-led, which resulted in a potentially large crop of cannabis being seized.

‘Although there was no evidence that the drugs were being distributed to the community, the amount was clearly substantial with both men taking leading roles in growing the drug.

‘We encourage residents to keep contacting us with tip-offs when they are aware of acts of criminality and we will tenaciously pursue any offenders.

‘The sentences reflect just how seriously the court take these matters and should act as a strong deterrent.’

Valler was given six months to pay the £48,000.

If he fails to do so, he will have to serve another 18 months.