Drugs gang leader who tried to flood North East with cocaine ordered to pay back £55,000

The ringleader of a drugs gang who tried to flood the North East with cocaine has been ordered to pay back more than £55,000.

Raymond Curran was part of an organised crime group who were handed lengthy jail sentences for the role they played in a large-scale drugs operation.

Now, he has been ordered to pay back some of the money he made from his criminal activity.

An investigation was carried out by officers from Northumbria Police’s priority and organised crime team, who spent months tracking the gang’s illicit activities across the region.

The investigation came to a head when officers arrested four men, including Curran and his brother, following a raid on one of the suspect's homes which uncovered a haul of £243,000 cash and five kilos of cocaine.

Despite seeing the 56-year-old jailed for 12 years and nine months earlier this year, officers continued their investigation, scouring bank accounts and searching for properties, cash or anything else of value which could have been bought with criminal proceeds.

Investigators soon identified three accounts containing £7,000 and uncovered £41,000 equity in Curran’s home address in Laurel Street, Throckley, as well as a lump sum of cash.

Five kilos of cocaine were recovered from a property in the region Credit: NCJMEDIA SYNDICATION

Last week, a judge at Newcastle Crown Court delivered the final blow to Curran and ordered he pay back £55,138.57.

Speaking after the hearing, Detective Inspector Don Gibson, from Northumbria Police’s priority and organised crime team, said:

Raymond Curran accepted the law had caught up with him when he pleaded guilty last December and received a significant custodial sentence.

Northumbria Police

Raymond Curran, his brother Gary Curran, and Gerrard Burke all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs on December 5, 2018.

Raymond Curran, 56, of Laurel Street, Throckley, was sentenced to 12 years and nine months' imprisonment.

Gary Curran, 51, of Adelaide House, Newcastle, was sentenced to 10 years and two months' imprisonment.

Gerrard Burke, 58 of King Edward Street, Gateshead, was sentenced to seven years and 10 months' imprisonment.

The fourth member of the group, Brendan Kevane, 49, of Pendalar, Caernarfon, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court in June where he was sentenced to a total of seven years and two months' imprisonment.

Det Insp Gibson added: "Hitting organised criminal groups financially is a great tactic to cause lasting disruption and can often dismantle them completely.

"Thanks to this fantastic result, our communities are a safer place to be and live in."