Brian Thexton, 37, from Durham, is accused of being involved in robberies where a gang would tie up homeowners and force them to give up alarm codes and safe combinations.
In one the gang impersonated police officers to dupe the victims into opening the door, before brandishing a pick axe handle and a baseball bat.
He is also awaiting trial for conspiracy to supply cocaine, over claims that he was the middleman in the sale of half a kilo of the drug, and had admitted conspiring to steal cars and machinery.
More top news
The 60-year-old takes charge of the Black Cats with immediate effect.
What has the weekend got in store for the Tyne Tees region?
The operation took around three hours to complete, with the remains being disposed of by a specialist animal by-product company.