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A DRUG dealer who was caught in Benfleet with more than £12,000 worth of illegal substances has been ordered to ‘pay back’ more than £15,000 of alleged illegal earnings.
Marco Lincoln, 36, of Vassall Road in Lambeth, was jailed for five years and eight months in March this year, after pleading guilty to two counts of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply.
He was prosecuted after he was stopped in a white Mercedes A Class in London Road, south Benfleet, in January.
When officers searched the vehicle, they found 390 wraps of crack cocaine and 192 wraps of heroin.
Further investigations found he was linked to a county lines operation known as ‘Troy’.
A hearing was held at Basildon Crown Court last week, at which the Government sought to seize any money Lincoln was thought to have earned illegally.
At that hearing, an order was handed down demanding Lincoln hand over £15,575.
An Essex Police spokesman said: “It’s time that people realise that firstly they cannot come to our county to deal drugs. If they do, Operation Raptor (Essex Police’s drugs squad) will be waiting to arrest them, charge them and lock them up.
“And we won’t stop at locking people up – but we will also seek to take back the proceeds of people’s criminal exploits.
“Not only will we lock up people dealing drugs, but we will seek to take every criminal penny from them, to ensure there is no profit from their crime.”
The Proceeds of Crime Act reverses the burden of proof, meaning that any property owned by the defendant is presumed by the Government to have been criminally obtained. It is then up to the defendant to prove this is not the case.