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Jailed leader of Essex drug gang ordered to repay £200k

By Essex Chronicle  |  Posted: February 01, 2013

  • DRUG MONEY: Bundles of cash found in a bin

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THE boss of a gang responsible for flooding the county with cocaine has been ordered to pay back £200,000 of his ill-gotten gains.

Kristofer Wassell, 32, of South Woodham Ferrers, was jailed for 11 years in June last year after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis.

On Monday, he was ordered to pay back £218,873.97 in six months under the Proceeds of Crime Act or face another two and half years behind bars.

At the hearing last year, his wife, Catherine Wassell, 25, of Boreham, was jailed for 12 months for money laundering and mortgage fraud.

The pair – known as the Mr and Mrs Big of the Essex drug world – were said to have lavished "eye-watering" sums of cash living the high life, funded by drug money.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard that the couple spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on exotic holidays, fast cars and designer watches, including £65,000 on trips to Mauritius, Barbados, Dubai, Las Vegas and the Seychelles.

At one stage, a recording of Kristofer Wassell's voice played to the court revealed he had spent "100,000 on her".

In 2008, the couple are said to have spent £19,000 on cosmetics and £32,000 on 80 pairs of designer shoes.

Their wedding at Braxted Park, Great Braxted, set them back almost £60,000.

Wassell's team made their money by collecting drugs from a syndicate, cutting them at a cottage in Howe Green, before distributing them throughout central Essex.

Three of the gang, Daniel Maskell, 31, of Boreham, Alexander Moss, 31, of Parkinson Drive, Chelmsford, and Daniel Wassell, 24, appeared with their boss at the original hearing.

All three were jailed for conspiracy to supply cocaine. Maskell was jailed for nine years, Moss for five and half years and Daniel Wassell for three and half-years.

Wassell's wife was jailed for 12 months which involved a fraudulent mortgage application, where she claimed to be a TV producer earning £142,000 to obtain a loan on a property worth £750,000 in Danbury.

On Monday, the court determined that Wassell had benefited to the tune of £302.485.07 from his offending, but only had £218,00 in available assets, including property, watches and seized cash.

A police spokesman said: "We are very pleased with the amount of money he has been asked to pay back."

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