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South Wales drug dealers ordered to pay back money gained from their crimes

Ashley James Carter / Howard Daniel Williams

Two men involved in a conspiracy to supply and produce cannabis have been ordered to give up money they earned from their crimes under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Back in November 2022, we searched an address in Porth after being made aware of suspicious activity. The search yielded a well-established cannabis factory. Following an investigation carried out by the Mid Glamorgan Organised Crime Unit, six large-scale cannabis factories were linked to two men.

On March 15, 2023, Ashley James Carter, 35 from Rhondda, and Howard Daniel Williams, 47 from Cardiff, were sentenced for drug offences at Merthyr Crown Court.

Carter was sentenced to five years and three months imprisonment for conspiracy to supply and produce cannabis and being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs – crack cocaine. Williams was sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment for conspiracy to supply and produce cannabis.

Detective Inspector Ian Jones said:

“We use the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) to ensure drug dealers and others who earn a living through illegal trades cannot continue to benefit when they get out of prison. Financial Investigators work very hard to establish how much offenders have earned from their illegal activities and have available to pay back.

“Following on from their sentencing a judge at Merthyr Crown Court has now granted confiscation orders against Carter and Williams, requiring them to pay back what they have available in cash and other assets.

“In Howard William’s case the amount available is £32,460 with a total benefit figure of £1,962,219 to be repaid, whilst Ashley Carter has £1,140 available with a total benefit figure of £545,881 to be repaid.

“The Proceeds of Crime Act enables us to prevent criminals from continuing to reap the benefits of their illegal activities even after they have been arrested, charged and sent to prison.

“The confiscation orders that have been issued remain payable until they are settled in full and, while they may not have assets to that value and cannot pay the order in full at this time, rest assured we will ensure that every effort is made to recover every penny no matter how long that takes.

“By doing this, we are ensuring that criminals do not get to enjoy any profit from crime once they have served their sentence. We are ensuring that they cannot use their ill-gotten gains to further their illegal enterprises.”