Member of Norwich drugs gang told to pay back £23,000
A member of a Norwich gang that stashed more than £1.5m worth of drugs at a travellers’ site in the city has been ordered to pay back more than £23,000 of her ill-gotten gains.
Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday that Wanda Lee, 29, of Swanton Road travellers site in Norwich, had benefited to the extent of £108,220.84 from her criminal conduct. But that only £23,420.84 was now available.
Judge Mark Lucraft made a confiscation order for the available amount under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and gave Lee, who appeared in custody, six months to pay.
As reported, drugs worth an estimated street value of more than £1.5m were discovered when police raided the Swanton Road travellers’ site in August last year. It was the largest heroin haul ever found by police in Norfolk.
In September Wanda Lee was sentenced to five-and-a-half years at Norwich Crown Court while her father, Ivor Lee, 55, also of Swanton Road travellers’ site, was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment, and Paul Sayer, 41, of Godric Place, Norwich, to 10 years, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs at an earlier hearing.
Charles Gaskin, 26, from the Costalot travellers’ site in Bagworth, Leicestershire, was sentenced to 20 years in prison at Norwich Crown Court in October, after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs following a trial in July.
Detective Inspector Gary Bloomfield of Norfolk Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said at the time that it was the largest single seizure of heroin Norfolk Constabulary had ever made.
A covert police surveillance operation stretching over 10 months led to the arrest of the gang in a raid on the Swanton Road site, after watching Sayer return from Leicestershire with a package in a knotted pillowcase.
Norwich Crown Court heard in September that police tracked hire cars driven by Sayer to a travellers’ site in Leicestershire to pick up the multi-kilo shipments of heroin, where he would often arrive several hours after and Ivor Lee had visited to arrange the deal and make payment.
Sayer would collect the drugs from Gaskin, delivering to Lee, who then supplied it to street dealers in Norwich.