POLICE have welcomed the conviction of a couple who funded their extravagant lifestyle with the proceeds of drugs and money laundering offences.
Ryan Walsh (pictured) and Amber Bruce were recently sentenced at Truro Crown Court.
Walsh, aged 27, of Ennors Road, Newquay, admitted possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply, possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply, producing a Class B drug and converting criminal property. He was jailed for five years.
Bruce, aged 24, of Hawke Close, Newquay, admitted permitting a premises to be used for the production of a Class B drug and two counts of converting criminal property. She was handed a 15-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
The couple were arrested after police carried out two raids at their addresses in the St Columb Major area in August 2017. Officers found a cocaine press and pressed cocaine, which commands a higher price on the street, large bundles of cash and a cannabis growing area with live plants.
Walsh and Bruce were released under investigation while detectives from Newquay CID launched an investigation to understand the extent of their offending.
The Cornwall Financial Investigation unit analysed the accounts of both defendants and identified that around £45,000 had been laundered by them using Bruce’s account. Bruce laundered a further £17,000 after the couple had been arrested.
Police Sergeant Steve Applewhite, who at the time was a detective with Newquay CID and led the investigation, said: “The warrants that we executed in St Columb Major removed a good amount of controlled drugs off the streets; £14,040-worth of cocaine, £23,691-worth of cannabis and £4,610 of cash.
“Neither Bruce nor Walsh had a legitimate income and we were able to show that their ill-gotten gains were used to fund their extravagant lifestyle. Bruce continued to use her bank account in the same way – and even after arrest continued to launder the money.
“The police rely on the community in everything we do. Without information from the public, and people reporting suspicious activity, we would be unable to bring offenders like these to justice.
“Newquay Police are committed to dealing with drug-related crime and we understand the knock-on effects it has to the whole community. We work very closely with our partner agencies to ensure we are as effective as possible.
“I would hope that five years in prison would deter anyone from even considering this type of illegal activity.”