Jailed man is told he must return £49k crime profits
A CRAWLEY man has been jailed and ordered to pay back tens of thousands of pounds gained from his crimes.
Sean Howard, 30, of Lewes Close, Pound Hill, was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court last Friday.
Having pleaded guilty to money laundering at an earlier hearing, he was sentenced to 20 months in prison.
Howard was also served with a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act (Poca) for £49,183.
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He has six months to pay back the money and if he fails to do so he will have to serve a further 18 months and still have to return the money.
The hearing marked the conclusion of an investigation by the Serious Organised Crime Unit.
It started almost two years ago when police began looking into alleged drug dealing in Sussex.
The operation has already resulted in the conviction and sentencing of seven other people.
Four were jailed for conspiracy to supply cocaine, with the other three, including a former police officer, locked up for money laundering.
Confiscation orders worth a total of £353,000 have now been served in connection with the case.
Howard became of interest to the police when they found a box for a Rolex watch while searching an address in Hove. The watch itself was then found when police searched a Crawley address.
Further inquiries revealed Howard had been systematically laundering the proceeds of crime on behalf of some of the other suspects.
Another of those already convicted is James McCue, 66, of Highgate Court, Broadfield, who was jailed for three years in April for laundering thousands of pounds made by his drug-dealing son.