A 54-year-old man who lived off the proceeds of drug trafficking before he was jailed has been ordered to pay back a total of £228,253.82.
At a confiscation hearing at Croydon Crown Court on Tuesday, 16 August, Frederick Washington Blake, (dob: 21.08.61), of Norbury Crescent, SW16, was ordered to pay back the money within 28 days.
Failure to pay would result in Blake facing a further three years’ jail in addition to the ten years’ imprisonment he received at Croydon Crown Court, on Wednesday, 9 December, 2015 for possession of a firearm, CS gas, a large quantity of cash obtained through crime, and possession with intent to supply cocaine – a Class A drug.
Blake had been stopped by officers from Sutton’s pro-active crime squad in an unmarked police vehicle after he was seen driving slowly and checking out houses in Carshalton, on Monday, 13 July 2015. In his car officers found a quantity of drugs – around ten white rocks – and more than £400 cash.
In a subsequent search of his home, officers uncovered a substantial quantity of cocaine, an Enfield revolver, CS gas, various materials used in the preparation of drugs and around £38,500 cash under the floorboards in his bedroom. Computer equipment, financial documents and two machetes were also seized.
The cocaine would have had a street value of more than £20,000. A forensic examination of the firearm, which was found to be in working order, proved that Blake had handled it.
The Confiscation Order stated that Blake had benefited from drug trafficking as part of his general criminal conduct and criminal lifestyle.
The Metropolitan Police Service is committed to making criminals pay for their actions and ensuring they don’t benefit from crime. Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA), police are able to strip criminals of any assets they’ve gained from their illegal activities, such as houses, cash and cars, to ensure they can’t go back to the unlawfully obtained lifestyle they once had.
The payments under POCA go to the Home Office. The default sentence would need to be served in full. The confiscation proceedings were undertaken by an accredited financial investigator based at Sutton Police Station.
This Confiscation Order follows successful confiscation hearings in another case heard at Croydon Crown Court on Thursday, 23 June, and Monday, 25 July, 2016 when four men who had been jailed for producing significant quantities of cannabis in shipping containers, had been ordered to pay back a total of £239,941.
Sutton Borough Commander Dave Stringer commented: “This is the second significant confiscation order this summer amounting to a total sum of money approaching half a million pounds. Our message is simple: if you engage in major drugs activities you will be caught and dealt with by the Courts – and we will use our powers to pursue Confiscation Orders to make sure crime doesn’t pay,” he said.