TWO Carlisle drugs offenders – including one who ran a drugs conspiracy from his prison cell - have been told to surrender their assets, which are a fraction of the £300,000 they made from their crimes.

A Proceeds of Crime case was brought against 35-year-old Stephen Dixon and his co-conspirator Dylan Schwenke, 25.

Both were put before Carlisle Crown Court for the conclusion of a police investigation of their criminal assets which also estimated how much profit they made from their offending.

Dixon’s benefit was estimated to be £170,340, while Schwenke is believed to have made £136,193 from his role in the wide-ranging conspiracy, which involved cocaine, cannabis and MDMA.

But following the police probe of the defendant’s finances, officers confirmed that Dixon’s available assets amounted to only £9,277 while Schwenke had only £1,700.

Judge Nicholas Barker ruled that both men must now sign consent forms to surrender those assets within a month. If Dixon, formerly of Blackwell Road, Currock, fails to hand over the cash he can have up to six months added to the jail term he is currently serving.

Schwenke, of Warnell Drive, Carlisle, will have to serve an extra 28 days in jail if he fails to hand over the money.

Judge Barker noted that both men had earlier pleaded guilty to serious drugs offences, with Dixon showing a capability and a capacity to “manage a serious criminal enterprise” from within his prison cell.

The judge said these facts had persuaded him that both men should be subject to a Serious Crime Prevention Order, which will include certain restrictions and obligations. This includes the two men not being allowed to have more than £1,000 in cash at any time unless they can explain their financial situation to police within 14 days.

At their sentencing hearing, the defendants were among seven people who were jailed for a combined total of nearly 40 years following the seizure of drugs worth more than £300,000.

The prosecutions came after detectives cracked a major Carlisle-based crime group. Cumbria Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit smashed the set-up after launching Operation Oberlin.

Schwenke and Dixon sat quietly in a prison video booth as the Judge Barker stripped them of their assets. The money they are losing will be ploughed back into the fight against crime.

The earlier prosecution heard that Dixon orchestrated the drug supply conspiracy from his prison cell in HMP Northumberland, where he was already serving a sentence for a previous offence.

He was jailed for 8 years and 8 months after admitting conspiracy to supply class A drugs. Police found incriminating text messages between him and Schwenke.

Dixon boasted: “I am not a stupid lad that’s why I’ve done things for years and not one thing has gone wrong.”

Schwencke even complimented Dixon on their success as drug criminals by saying they were “flat out for 2 year they cudnt catch us.” He was jailed for 10 years and 6 months after he admitted conspiring to supply class A drugs and conspiring to convey prohibited articles into prison.