North West Regional Organised Crime Unit
 

Cannabis Production Conspirators have proceeds of crime act hearings and have assets idenified

Thu 05th, Jul

Three Merseyside males convicted & sentenced this year for Conspiracy to Produce Cannabis on an industrial scale, have on Friday 29th June 2018 had Proceeds of Crime Act hearings, where confiscation orders were made to the joint value of over £120k

Operation Goa was a North West Regional Organised Crime Unit investigation into a Merseyside Organised Crime Group who over four premises across North West England and North Wales, were producing cannabis on an industrial scale.  On 31 March 2018 thirteen members of this Organised Crime Group were charged with offences relating to the cannabis production.  on 19 June 2018 all thirteen were convicted of Conspiracy to Produce a Controlled Drug Class B, which triggered the resulting confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

As such on Friday 29th June 2018 three of the thirteen members of this group had Confiscation Orders imposed as follows:

  • Michael Hardwick, of Wervin Road, Kirkby (Liverpool), described as being a 1st tier gardener, previously sentenced to 3 years 4 months imprisonment for the primary offence, had a confiscation order imposed to the value of £18,350 with available assets of £8,900 and was given 3 months to pay and a 5 month default sentence.
  • Joseph O'Brien, of Drake Way, Liverpool, described as a 1st tier gardener, previously sentenced to 3 years 4 months imprisonment for the primary offence, had a confiscation order imposed to the value of £88,920 with available assets of £22,414 and was given 3 months to pay and an 8 month default sentence.
  • Gavin Laffey, of Imrie Street, Liverpool, described as being a 2nd tier gardener, was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment for the primary offence, and had a confiscation order imposed of £12,899 with minimal assets deemed available which were paid.

Confiscation orders remain on a person until the order has been paid for the entirety of a person's life.  If a person fails to return what are deemed as "available assets" they will be forced to have the "default sentence" added to the end of the sentence to the primary sentence, however the debt still remains in full.

More Proceeds of Crime Act hearings are expected from other subjects of Operation Goa in the coming months.