A man convicted of conspiring to supply drugs has been ordered to pay back the £650,000 profit he made from his crimes.
Paul Pierson, 33, formerly of Lady Meadow, Kings Langley, was also sentenced to a three and a half year prison term after pleading guilty last September to conspiracy to supply £850,000 worth of cannabis.
Mr Pierson was stopped by police in a black cab on the M25 near Watford in April last year with 800 bars of cannabis resin. He had been a passenger in the cab.
His wife Melissa, 34, was also convicted and sentenced to complete 200 hours of community service after a single bar of the class B drug was discovered in her car boot.
Pierson must pay £160,000 within 28 days of his hearing, which was held at St Albans Crown Court on Friday. He will be required to pay off the remaining £490,000 after leaving prison at the end of his sentence.
Police and crime commissioner David Lloyd has congratulated Herts Police on cracking down on criminal assets after Pierson’s conviction. He said: “It is wholly right that those responsible for crime should bear its costs, not the law-abiding people of Hertfordshire, so I was delighted to hear the outcome of this hearing. Making sure offenders pay for their crimes is a key theme in my police and crime plan, Everybody’s Business.”
Income generated through proceeds of crime hearings and forfeitures is on the increase in the county, with £560,000 collected already this policing year.