Drug money seized by Sussex Police

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DRUG profits of nearly £50,000 have been confiscated from a cannabis producer near Chichester.

Last Friday, September 28, a confiscation order to the sum of £48,000 was obtained by police at Chichester Crown Court against Darren Valler, 46, who has been given six months to pay the sum.

Valler, and his brother Randy, 43, are currently serving a 30-month prison sentence after police found £14,000 of cannabis at their home in Earnley in August 2010. They were sentenced in March this year.

If he fails to pay the money he will have to serve another 18 months, after which he will still have to pay.

Detective Inspector Chris Neilson, head of the Sussex Police Economic Crime Unit, said: “This confiscation is another example of the way in which we will also pursue criminals to seize their profits and put the money back into legitimate society.”

The money will go to the government, but half of it will come back to law enforcement.

That sum is split equally between the Crown Prosecution Service, HM Courts System and the police.

Chichester Crown Court heard police originally carried out a search of the Vallers’ home address at Drove Lane, Earnley, in August 2010, based on intelligence they had received.

Various sheds were searched with officers finding cannabis plants at different stages of maturity. The two men were arrested.

Police found 22 mature plants which would have been ready for harvesting, and a further 100 cannabis plants of smaller sizes. The men pleaded guilty to producing cannabis at their first court appearance.

After the sentencing a Sussex Police financial crime expert investigated the financial dealings of the brothers, resulting in the hearing last week.