Posted on 21st January 2020

The ringleader of a Warrington gang who supplied cocaine and firearms has been ordered to pay back his ill-gotten gains and will be robustly monitored when he leaves prison.

Anthony Cullen was handed a Serious Crime Prevention Order (SCPO) and found to have profited £378,139 as the head of the serious and organised crime group.

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The 32-year-old is currently serving a 27-year prison sentence.

He was convicted as part of Operation Samurai, an investigation into the organised crime group which instilled fear and intimidation into the community while conspiring to profit from large scale supplies of cocaine and firearms.

Cullen and 19 other men were jailed for a total of 185 years in January 2019.

Cullen ruled the roost and gave out orders to the other members of the group.

Upon Cullen’s release from prison, any significant amounts of money he earns will be collected by the courts until the full amount has been repaid.

The SCPO bans Cullen from associating with the men he was sentenced alongside. He must inform Cheshire Constabulary of any vehicles and communication devices he owns or uses.

He must also tell the police where he is living and working and of any bank accounts he uses.

The SCPO, which will be imposed for five years from his prison release date, also restricts him to only owning two computers and two mobile phones at any time.

Detective inspector Giles Pierce, from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “Members of organised crime groups like Cullen often believe that upon leaving prison they can return to a lavish and criminal lifestyle.

“However, this case shows that the punishments for such convicted criminals doesn’t stop at a prison sentence.

“Instead, we work hard to ensure that the money they made from their criminal enterprises is paid back and they are subject to an order which prevents them from returning to organised crime.

“Those subjected to Serious Crime Prevention Orders are robustly monitored by the police.”

David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, added: “The Proceeds of Crime Act ensures that money seized from criminals is put to good use keeping our communities safe.

“Criminal activity ruins lives and communities so I am committed to ensuring money seized from offending is reinvested back into our communities to discourage people from making the same mistakes.

“I am now working with the Chief Constable to ensure when these funds are recovered that they are used to repair some of the damage inflicted on the local community by Cullen and other members of the organised crime group.”

Cullen was ordered to pay back the £378,139 he made as the ringleader of the gang following a proceeds of crime hearing at the same court in June.