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Ex-police offer who sold $1.5M worth of cannabis ordered to pay back some of his proceeds

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The 69-year-old, who grew cannabis within 100 metres of a primary school, has three months to pay back $160K

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A former U.K. police officer and military member who pocketed more than $1.5 million selling homegrown cannabis will likely avoid further jail time unless he fails to pay back about $160,000.

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The 69-year-old was sentenced earlier this week in a proceeds of crime hearing after his cannabis operation, which was less than 100 metres away from a primary school and fortified with strategically placed weapons, was busted in 2020.

He was previously jailed for 43 months, but has since been released on licence, reports the Times & Star. He has three months to pay back the money or he could face a 12-month jail term.

  1. Bennett has been suspended from duty pending completion of an investigation into allegations of drug misuse.

    The guy who sacked Scotland Yard cops for using weed uses weed

  2. Lopez had confiscated the cannabis, which amounted to approximately one pound.

    Cop charged with attempting to sell cannabis he confiscated on the job

  3. Recreational cannabis, whether for personal use or not, is not legal in Georgia. / PHOTO BY VMARGINEANU /iStock / Getty Images

    Cop busted for selling cannabis on the job while in uniform

Police caught wind of the operation after cannabis odour began to permeate the neighbourhood. Officers visited the property and discovered “one of the most carefully constructed and sophisticated set-ups” they had ever seen, the News & Star reported last July.

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Aside from specialist growing equipment, police seized 80 plants, drying racks, vacuum-packing machinery and a large insulated tent.

Officers estimated the operation had the capacity to produce 42 kilograms of cannabis annually. They also found a crossbow and air rifles protecting the grow.

In the man’s bedroom, officers seized nearly $20,000 in cash. Additionally, they tracked cash deposits worth almost half a million pounds that were sent to an ex-partner in the Philippines.

The man later admitted to both cannabis production and possession of proceeds of crime.

According to the BBC, the man was in the military for 24 years. He also worked as a police officer in the Northumbria force for four years. 

Earlier this year, a U.S. police officer took things a step further by selling cannabis while on duty and in uniform.

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The 32-year-old man was arrested in late January after drug enforcement agents, working on a tip, went undercover and began buying weed from the accused. A search of the officer’s car also revealed cannabis, scales and plastic baggies.

He was later arrested on two counts of selling/distributing marijuana, one count of possession with intent to distribute cannabis, four counts of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony, three counts of violating the oath of office and two counts of using a communication device during the commission of a felony. 

Back in the U.K., another police officer made headlines in 2020 after admitting to cannabis use despite heading up the panel responsible for disciplining officers for consuming weed.

The man, known as the “Sacker” for his tough approach to enforcing the rules, was suspended from duty pending completion of an investigation into allegations of drug misuse.

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