Devon

Exeter drug trafficker Matthew Deny ordered to pay £200,000

Cocaine Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption The drugs were processed at a house in Torquay, the trial heard in 2010

The ringleader of a drug trafficking gang has been ordered to pay £200,000 or spend an extra two years in jail.

Matthew Deny, 50, of Norman Mews, Exeter, who was jailed in 2010, is serving an 18-year term for his role in organising a gang that brought £1.8m worth of cocaine to Devon and Cornwall.

Exeter Crown Court heard Deny's hidden assets amounted to £200,000.

A judge ruled he had six months to pay the money or his sentence would be increased to 20 years.

Deny was one of five men jailed for conspiracy to supply cocaine, after the trial in August 2010.

Judge Graham Cottle ruled his benefit from cocaine dealing, after allowing for inflation, was £1,139,481, but his hidden assets amounted to only £200,000.

Furniture firm cover-up

He said: "He was the mastermind behind a substantial operation. He orchestrated the planning but kept himself in the background while others fetched, delivered, processed and distributed cocaine.

"However, his fingerprints were all over the operation from start to finish, as was shown by a receipt book discovered in a search of a co-conspirator's home.

"It was clearly used to record precisely how much cocaine was produced. He was at the helm and purchased two presses to be used and arranged the rental of a property where cocaine was processed."

Judge Cottle said entries in the records referred to selling tables and chairs, but Deny's supposed furniture importing business was a cover for his drug dealing activities.

He rejected Deny's claim he had no realisable assets and said he had made so much money out of the conspiracy that he must have hidden his money away.

"He is a resourceful man who would not have emerged penniless from this conspiracy," Judge Cottle added.

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