A Warminster man has been ordered to pay over £130,000 after he was sentenced for drug offences in 2017.

Jack Pearce, 38, formerly of Sutton Veny, Warminster, is serving a four year and 10-month prison sentence for possession with intent to supply heroin and crack cocaine, as well as money laundering.

Following this initial court result, a lengthy investigation was carried out by officers in the Dedicated Crime Team and the Financial & Asset Investigation Team at Wiltshire Police, to examine Pearce’s cost of living and establish how much he had benefitted financially from criminal activity.

A hearing was held at Swindon Crown Court yesterday and Pearce was ordered to pay a confiscation order of £131,551 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Enquiries established that this is how much he benefitted from through drug dealing over many years, and this must now be paid back over his lifetime.

The court found the available amount that Pearce could pay amounts to £12,845.09 cash seized from him at the time of his arrest, which must be paid within one month of the order being made.

Failure to do so will result in one-month imprisonment which will be added to his current prison sentence.

Financial investigator Tom Phesse said: “Investigations of this nature are complex and can be lengthy – police investigations do not just stop once an offender is behind bars if we believe that person has been benefitting from crime.

"We will seek to seize and retain any property and possessions obtained unlawfully under the powers afforded to us through the Proceeds of Crime Act. This case is an example of this.

“It is not right that drug dealers like Pearce should benefit from the money they have made through criminality and enjoy a lifestyle that honest, hardworking people would struggle to afford.”

PC Joe Shanklin, of the Dedicated Crime Team, said: “We initially arrested Pearce while on patrol in Frome in November 2015.

"At the time, he put up a violent struggle and attempted to conceal class A drugs. His violent behaviour required three officers to restrain him and recover the drugs from his hands, mouth and pockets.

"A search of an address associated with Pearce uncovered thousands of pounds in cash. While on bail for this offence, he was arrested in April 2016 in Warminster, where he again was violent with officers.

“I was pleased with the lengthy prison sentence issued in 2017, and I am pleased that we have been able to secure this confiscation order which will continue to impact on Pearce’s life long after he has served his time in prison.

"Crime simply does not pay and we will make every effort to ensure that drug dealers do not benefit.”