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Drugs money spent by Maidstone dealer on designer handbags and TVs

Contributed by editor on Mar 26, 2020 - 04:30 PM


Luxury goods including designer handbags and flat screen televisions were seized from a Maidstone flat when a prolific drug dealer was arrested last year.


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Ashley Nation has now been sentenced to almost five years in prison following convictions related to money laundering and the supply of cocaine.

Officers initially executed a search warrant at Nation’s flat in  Maidstone on 15 May 2019, where they discovered an array of high value goods, many still boxed, as well as almost £3,000 in cash.

 

Plastic packaging appeared to have been flushed down a toilet and white residue powder was visible around the toilet bowl. The 35-year-old was arrested in connection with supplying drugs and released pending further enquiries as Kent Police sought to build a successful case.

An investigation revealed that between August 2017 and May 2019 a total of £81,695 in cash deposits had been made to a bank account linked to Nation. The only time the deposits stopped was during a period in 2018, when Nation had been serving a prison sentence for previous drugs supply offences.

 

A mobile phone seized by officers from Nation provided further clues. The device was successfully unlocked and messages with drug users showed deals being arranged on a daily basis.

On 19 June, a second search warrant was carried out at the same flat. Nation was again arrested and a number of high value goods valued in excess of £30,000 were seized. An Audi car was also confiscated which contained around £1,000 in cash.

 

A second car parked nearby was searched which led to the discovery of quantities of cannabis and cocaine. A knot around the cocaine packaging was swabbed for DNA and a forensic match was made to Nation.


He was charged with three counts of being concerned in the supply of drugs - cocaine, MDMA and cannabis. He was further charged with possessing cannabis and possessing criminal property.

 

Nation pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and on 17 March 2020 received a prison sentence of four years and nine months. His partner, a woman from London also admitted a charge of possessing criminal property. She was given a suspended sentence and ordered to carry out unpaid work for 200 hours, within a year.

Leading the investigation was Detective Constable James Arnold, who said: 'Ashley Nation is a repeat offender, who was dealing drugs on a significant level even when he was released on licence following a previous custodial sentence. Rest assured that now he is back in prison our next step will be to use the Proceeds of Crime Act as a means to claw back any criminal gains from which he has benefited.’
 

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