Police seize £35,000 from drug dealer 10 years after conviction

A Sandwell drug dealer’s been ordered to pay back nearly £35,000 − after police cashed-in a confiscation order secured against him more than 10 years ago.

Antonio Christie was jailed for nine years in 2006 for drug trafficking and, as part of his sentence, an order was imposed empowering police to seize tens of thousands of pounds he’d made through peddling cocaine and heroin.

The 38-year-old paid a nominal £1 sum at the time after he was found had no known assets − but the order hung over him for investigators to revisit should the crook come into any future cash. 

Last year, Christie was awarded £150,000 damages by Staffordshire Police in connection with his conviction and imprisonment for a murder case later deemed unsafe. An officer from the West Midlands Asset Confiscation Enforcement team (ACE) has now seized £34,792 of that money which will be used in order to pay back his confiscation order debt. Detective Inspector Jonathan Jones from Regional Organised Crime Unit, said:

“Confiscation orders don’t get written off and stay with the person until they are paid. As this case shows, it doesn’t matter how long ago you committed your crime - if you benefitted from it then and we suspect you now have the means to pay your debt, then we will come after you.

“We hope this sends a strong message that crime doesn’t pay. No-one is above the law and the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit will pursue those who seek to profit out of criminality. Just because a criminal has been sentenced, it does not mean it’s the end of our investigation.

"We will always seek to ensure criminals pay their dues and look to claw back their money through the courts. By taking away the profits we can break the cycle of criminal behaviour and those who don’t pay back the money can face extra time behind bars."

The money recovered will go to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Active Citizens Fund: it sees ill-gotten gains stripped from criminals and then used for good causes and local projects that benefit communities.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “It sends a strong message that we are taking money off criminals and funding worthy causes through my Active Citizens Fund with the money.

“Using criminals’ ill-gotten-gains we will be spending their loot to make communities safer. This case in particular shows how determined we are to make sure crime does not pay."


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