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Tunbridge Wells drugs dealer must pay back more than £300k from his illegal earnings

More than £300,000 in assets will be confiscated from a convicted drug dealer.

William Ferguson, formerly of Tunbridge Wells, is currently serving a 13-year prison sentence for supplying cocaine across Kent.

William Ferguson is currently in jail
William Ferguson is currently in jail

He has now been made the subject of a court order under the Proceeds of Crime Act and told he must pay back the money or face an additional three years in jail.

Ferguson was part of an organised network of criminals who bought and sold Class A drugs in vast volumes and whose crimes were facilitated by the encrypted phone platform, EncroChat.

Between March and June 2020, he repeatedly purchased kilogram blocks of cocaine, as part of a conspiracy with other users. He was sentenced in January 2022 having pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to supply drugs, which also included amphetamine and cannabis.

Following the sentence, financial investigators used powers contained within the Proceeds of Crime Act, which enables police to claw back money and assets that offenders have gained from their criminal activities.

The legislation can be used again if the offenders come into further assets.

A photo of the cocaine blocks that Ferguson was dealing in, as shown at his original trial
A photo of the cocaine blocks that Ferguson was dealing in, as shown at his original trial

On Wednesday, a confiscation order hearing was held at Maidstone Crown Court, where it was determined that Ferguson, 29, had benefited from his criminal conduct by £769,812.

His current available assets amounted to £311,007 and Ferguson has been given three months to pay the full amount.

Detective Inspector Dave Godfrey, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Ferguson occupied a lead role in a criminal network supplying cocaine on a commercial scale.

“While in 2022 he was rightly given a significant prison sentence, since then we have undertaken several months of painstaking investigation to ensure he has been unable to benefit from his crimes.

“This court order allows us to permanently seize assets in Ferguson’s name, which include funds restrained in several bank accounts, and money we have raised at auctions through the sale of designer clothing and handbags that he had purchased.

“Where possible, some of the money we have clawed back will be redistributed to our local communities for everyone’s benefit.”

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