Any home is a potential target for burglars; some are more appealing than others and some offer themselves up with a bow that begs to be opened.
A drug trafficker who was sentenced to 24 years for his role at the heart of a criminal group trafficking cocaine into the UK has been ordered to hand over his illicit profits.
The Judge at Leeds Crown Court today granted a Confiscation Order of £418,716 against Morton, who is 39 and from Leeds. If he defaults on the Order he will have to serve a further three and a half years in prison while still being liable for the money owed.
SOCA's Paul McDonald said: "Criminals who traffic in significant volumes of controlled drugs and bring misery to their communities cannot only expect a hefty prison sentence but also a robust enquiry into their financial circumstances. Morton is now counting the cost of his criminal career."
SOCA's investigation into the drug trafficking network had identified seven other members of the crime group based in West Yorkshire, Northamptonshire and the Midlands. They regularly changed their mobile telephones and used public telephone kiosks in an attempt to frustrate law enforcement agencies.
Morton conspired with his colleagues to arrange the importation and distribution of the drugs by arranging for one of the criminal group to drive to the Netherlands, make the collections and bring them back into the UK in a hidden compartment of his van.
The other members of the group pleaded guilty and were sentenced to a total of 82 years' imprisonment. Today's result brings the total value of Confiscation Orders made against this crime group to £770,446.
*Operation Return is a joint initiative between SOCA, Crimestoppers and the Dutch authorities which targets UK fugitives who are believed to be on the run in the Netherlands. You can get more information on Operation Return on http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/how-we-help/crimestoppers-europe/crimestoppers-netherlands
Leeds Crown Court 1 April 2011
Edward Morton 22/05/73, Milshaw Mount, Leeds, conspiracy to supply Class A, and conspiracy to supply class B amphetamine, sentenced to 24 years
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