Dealer forced to sell home

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A DRUG dealer and a shop owner who allowed staff to tell people how to grow cannabis have been hit in the wallet.

Paul Scott Cubitt, 40, formerly of Newhouse Road, Marton, was arrested in 2009 after officers discovered cocaine in his garden shed.

He is currently serving four years in prison for possession of cocaine with intent to supply.

At a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) confiscation hearing at Preston Crown Court he was found to have benefited by £90,200 from his offending.

These proceedings resulted in the enforced sale of his house and he was ordered to pay £3,456.18 immediately.

James Jones, of Park Road, Blackpool, was convicted of four offences of incitement to grow cannabis at his Grow Republic shop in Blackpool in 2008.

The shop, in Church Street, central Blackpool, was selling cannabis seed and the paraphernalia to grow it. Staff gave advice on growing cannabis to an undercover officer. At a POCA confiscation hearing at Preston Crown Court he was found to have benefited by £250,000 from his offending.

Jones was jailed for 10 months after he was convicted of incitement to produce cannabis following Operation Skua.

An undercover officer spoke to Jones as part of the operation and said it was obvious the shop encouraged cannabis cultivation after he was sold a growing manual and other items. His shop has since been closed as a result of police activity. Jones, 43, has few assets and consequently was ordered to pay £4,000.

Alan Todd, financial investigator for Lancashire Police, said: “It’s not right criminals profit from their offending or live a lifestyle that is funded by crime. We will work with the courts to confiscate this cash.”