Drugs gang told to pay back £38,000

Some of the cash recovered from the gang by police
Some of the cash recovered from the gang by police

Malicious letters detailing allegations against man being sent to homes in Portsmouth

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A DRUGS gang has been ordered to repay more than £38,000 after being jailed for their roles in a conspiracy to sell cocaine.

Anthony Timmins, Steven Thomas, Andrew Balderston and Lee Reynolds were sentenced to 24 years after being caught thanks to a probe by Hampshire’s Major Investigation Team.

It culminated in the men’s arrests following dawn raids in Portsmouth and Windsor in March 2012.

Now they have been ordered to repay the cash in a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

That money will go to community projects and other operations to target criminals.

Timmins, 35, of Eastern Road, Portsmouth, must repay £21,459.20.

He is serving a eight years and nine months in prison after admitting conspiracy to supply drugs and converting criminal property.

But Reynolds, 33, of Kimbolton Road, Copnor Portsmouth, who was jailed for 14 months after he admitted permitting premises to be used for the supply of a class A drug, must repay just £5.

Meanwhile Balderston, 36, must repay £2,000. He is serving six-and-a-half years in prison after admitting being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug.

He was not produced from prison for the hearing, so Recorder Stephen Parish allowed seven days for the amount to be confirmed as acceptable by his defence.

Thomas, 36, of Firs Avenue, Windsor, who was jailed for eight years after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply drugs, was told to repay £15,000.

The court had previously heard the conspiracy took place between 2010 and 2012. During a raid at Allen Motors in Auckland Road East in Southsea, where Reynolds worked, police found a mechanical press in the workshop with traces of cocaine.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Reynolds was the firm’s sole employee, and grandson of the owner’s late wife.

Police searching Balderston’s Milton Road home in Milton, Portsmouth, found 214g of 76 per cent pure cocaine with a street value of £42,800. One set of scales containing cannabis traces and another traces of cocaine and a cutting agent were seized.

At Timmins’ former Southsea home in South Parade detectives found more than £18,500 in cash – some contaminated with cocaine – and a Rolex along with other evidence.

Cash, a mobile phone, a Rolex watch worth more than £10,000 and an envelope with numbers and figures on were found at Thomas’s home.

Timmins was described by sentencing judge Ian Pearson as a ‘prime mover’ in the conspiracy.

Speaking after the hearing, Bernard Barber, a financial investigator for Hampshire police, said: ‘Hampshire Constabulary is committed to removing the assets from those convicted of criminality.’