Sunderland drug courier ordered to pay back ill-gotten gains

Drugs seized as part of the investigation into drug dealing involving Wayne Bruce.

Drugs seized as part of the investigation into drug dealing involving Wayne Bruce.

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A COURIER jailed after being caught carrying a large consignment of cocaine in a car has had cash and an expensive watch confiscated.

Wayne Bruce was the subject of a Proceeds of Crime Act order made by a judge at Durham Crown Court.

Wayne Bruce

Wayne Bruce

The 33-year-old was jailed for 40 months at the court last year after previously admitting possessing a Class A drug with intent to supply.

As a result of surveillance, he was pulled over by police at the Red Lion, on the A167 at Plawsworth, near Chester-le-Street, on September 17, 2013.

Almost two kilograms of cocaine were recovered by police from the back seat of the Vauxhall Insignia he had driven back to the region from Merseyside.

Bruce, of Cedarwood Grove, Tunstall, Sunderland, was recently released from prison, midway through the sentence, on licence.

The car Wayne Bruce was driving when he was pulled over by police.

The car Wayne Bruce was driving when he was pulled over by police.

However, he was back in court this week for a Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation hearing, alongside co-accused, 36-year-old Alexander Anthony Dobbing.

Dobbing remains behind bars, having received an eight-year sentence, after admitting conspiracy with others to supply cocaine, for helping to organise the drugs pick-up in Liverpool.

Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said there remain issues over what can be seized from Dobbing, as potential crime proceeds, due to issues over the available equity in his house, in Burdon Walk, Castle Eden, near Peterlee.

Mr Bennett said it was a more straight-forward procedure in the case of Bruce.

After discussions with Peter Walsh, representing Bruce, it was accepted that the benefit from his activities amounted to £199,300, but the amount available for confiscation was £5,770.

That is made up from £470 recovered from him when he was stopped by police, as well as the estimated value of the Rolex watch he was wearing. Mr Bennett said the watch will be auctioned by police.

Judge Simon Hickey agreed to the confiscation and said the cash should be handed over in 90 days. Confiscation procedures involving Dobbing were adjourned until April 23.