Three Hartlepool drug dealers have been ordered to pay back just a tiny fraction of the £843,678 they benefited from their crimes.
David Haggan, 44, David Gallagher, 56, and Lee Ryan, 32, appeared at Teesside Crown Court for a proceeds of crime hearing looking into the cash they made from their involvement in a conspiracy to bring cocaine into Hartlepool from Merseyside.
Despite being ruled to have pocketed huge sums from their crimes, Haggan and Ryan were ordered to repay only £1, while Gallagher has to pay back £250.
The three were charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, while Haggan was also charged with possession of a Class B drug.
The Mail reported in November 2015 how a courier from Liverpool met Haggan at the Teesbay Retail Park. They drove to a nearby shopping parade, where they met Gallagher.
When the three were arrested, an electrical transformer box, of the kind used in building sites, was found to contain traces of cocaine, and £44,950 in 45 bundles.
Jailing the pair, Judge Sean Morris said they had been equal partners in the east coast end of the drugs pipeline from Merseyside.
Haggan, formerly of Cranwell Road, and Gallagher, formerly of Wharton Terrace, who sentenced to 13 years each in prison in November 2015.
The Mail reported how Ryan was arrested by police in Hartlepool in August 2013 who recovered one kilo of cocaine.
He was jailed for seven years and four months for his involvement in an operation bringing drugs from Merseyside.
Mr Dent said: “Both counsels approve the proceeds of crime order for the defendants who have been charged with the supply of Class A drugs.
“For defendants Haggan and Gallagher, the prosecution and defence have reached an agreement in relation to the application order.
“Haggan benefited by £86,250 and is also subject to a previous confiscation order as a result of a conviction several years ago.
“The amount was £35,000 and that should be added on to the current order, bringing the total to £121,014.
“Gallagher also benefited by £86,250. Ryan benefited by £344,000 and also owes £292,414 from another case bringing his total to £636,414.”
Judge Phillips QC who approved the order and said: “I approve the proceeds of crime order for Haggan.
“He has three months to pay the nominal fee amount of £1 or face seven days in prison.
“For Gallagher, I approve the same terms to pay £86,250
“He must pay £250 of that within three months. Failure to pay will result in 21 days in prison.
“For Ryan I approve the benefit figure of £344,000
“He also has £636,414 outstanding from another case.
“He must pay the nominal sum of £1 within three months or face seven days in prison.”