Sunderland drug dealer told to pay back £15,000 after Pakistan parcel incident

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TWO Sunderland drug dealers who took delivery of tablets sent in a parcel from Pakistan face repaying thousands of pounds.

David Stokoe and Darren Lascelles have each been hit with a confiscation order by police after pleading guilty to intending to supply diazepam and temazepam tablets.

The pair had ordered the drugs last year and received several packages sent from Pakistan.

They were arrested after UK Border Agency staff intercepted the parcels and replaced the drugs inside with placebos.

In two deliveries, destined for the defendants’ addresses, thousands of the Class C drugs were found.

Detectives then charged Stokoe, 39, of Dene View, Castletown, Sunderland, and Darren Lascelles, 37, of Rosemary Road, Red House, Sunderland.

On July 16, 2012, both pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court to offences of possession of class C drugs with intent to supply and importation of class C drugs.

Stokoe admitted his guilt on the basis he became involved to help out his pal.

Prosecutor Robert Adams said: “Stokoe said he was a long-term friend and associate of Lascelles and on many occasions visited him and found him particularly poorly as a consequence of having purchased illegal drugs off the street.

“He effectively sought to assist him.”

On October 4, 2012, they were both sentenced at the same court and received 12-month prison sentences suspended for 24 months.

Now, police have obtained confiscation orders against the pair.

Northumbria Police financial investigator John Lavelle said: “The orders were made against both David Alan Stokoe and Darren Lascelles. They were each found to have benefited from crime to the tune of £15,000.

“Stokoe has to pay the whole amount within six months or face a nine-month prison sentence and will still have to pay the money.

“Lascelles, who has no assets, was ordered to pay a nominal sum of £1. However, the benefit figure of £15,000 stays with him for life and further confiscation proceedings can be brought if Lascelles acquires assets in the future.

“This should send a clear message to criminals that we will fully utilise our powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to make sure they pay back the money they have gained illegally.

“Criminals should be warned that we will continue to take away the cash and lifestyle they have gained through illegal earnings.”