A convicted drug dealer from Bicester and his brother have been ordered to forfeit £221,000.
At Reading Crown Court last week, Nicholas Dean, 48, from Roman Way in Bicester, along with his brother Jason Dean, 46, from Ash Grove in Headington, was ordered to give up assets following convictions for drug dealing and money laundering last year.
A confiscation order for £21,000 was made against Nicholas Dean’s available assets, which must be paid within six months. Assets worth a further £200,000 could still be confiscated in future.
Jason Dean was ordered to forfeit £200,000 from his identified assets within 28 days or face an additional two-and-a-half-year sentence.
Det Supt David Poole, who led the investigation, said the Dean brothers ran a “criminal empire” and thought they were untouchable by police.
He added: “As well as depriving them of their freedom, we wanted to ensure they were not rewarded by the proceeds of the criminality. The Economic Crime Unit began a detailed and complex investigation to prove the lavish lifestyles they were living had been funded by crime.”
The Dean brothers had pleaded guilty to a number of offences along with four other people. In March 2011, 22 warrants were carried out across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire under Operation Hedge, aimed at identifying and convicting members of an organised crime gang responsible for distributing Class A drugs. A total of 17 people were arrested, of whom four were released with no further action, three were cautioned and 10 were charged, including the Dean brothers.
A number of properties were searched during the raids, and police recovered around £350,000 worth of controlled drugs, mostly cocaine and some cannabis, as well as £50,000 in cash. Det Supt Poole added: “These confiscation orders for £221,000 mean the Deans will have to repay a considerable amount of money or face further prison terms and still have to repay it.
“Criminals need to be aware that we will continue to bring asset recovery proceedings against them to strip them of their ill-gotten gains, no matter how long it takes or how well they try to hide their tracks.”