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Court orders man guilty of supplying class A drugs to pay back £60,000

A Siston man convicted of supplying class A drugs has been ordered to pay back more than £60,000 following a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

Ashley Hawkins, now 33, was jailed for seven years and two months in September 2020, after he was convicted of being concerned in supplying cocaine, MDMA and ketamine between November 2015 and May 2020. He also admitted possessing a stun gun and a knuckle duster. His criminal enterprise targeted university students and he advertised class A drugs on social media.

During the investigation, Operation Remedy officers seized more than £50,000 in cash, which Hawkins had concealed.

An investigation was launched under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) resulting in a hearing in Bristol Crown Court on Monday (20 September). At the hearing, Hawkins’ was estimated to have benefitted by the amount of £321,814 as a result of his criminal activity. He was ordered to pay back £61,845 which was calculated to be his available amount. It will be possible for the police to make applications in the future to confiscate any further assets identified as belonging to Hawkins up to the total of £321,814.

Financial investigator Bryony Dixon said: “This was a complex investigation which resulted in the recovery of thousands of pounds worth of drugs and cash thanks to the hard and diligent work of officers from Operation Remedy and Bristol CID. The resulting POCA investigation and the outcome at court earlier this week ensures Hawkins will not financially benefit from his offending.

“We hope it sends out a strong message that we’ll use all available powers to catch those who deal drugs in our communities and ensure their crimes do not pay.”