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25 August 2010, 13:28
A former police constable was jailed for 16 months today after admitting laundering more than £80,000.
Darren Graysmark, 44, of Coney Furlong, Peacehaven, East Sussex, had served with Sussex Police for 23 years but resigned on the same day that he entered his guilty plea last month.
He had been arrested by detectives from his own force's Serious and Organised Crime Unit in April last year as part of an enquiry into alleged drugs trafficking, and has been suspended on full pay, and remanded on bail, since then.
He has 23 years service with Sussex Police, and was a PC at the force's Newhaven Ports Unit at the time of his arrest.
Graysmark pleaded guilty to a charge of money laundering a total of £80,921.47 over five years up to April 2009, contrary to Section 327(1)(c) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA).
Giles York, Deputy Chief Constable of Sussex, said; "Darren Graysmark let himself, his colleagues and the public down, in knowingly benefiting from organised crime. He took money which was the proceeds of crime and used to it support his own lifestyle.
"As soon as our detectives found out, immediate action was taken to arrest him and seize his assets.
"This sentence sends a clear message that there is no tolerance in the police service for criminal activity by anyone who works for us. The public must expect more of Sussex Police in serving Sussex."
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Paice of the Sussex Police Serious and Organised Crime Unit said; "To start with Graysmark tried to maintain that he had no knowledge of any criminal activity, but eventually it became clear to him that he could not continue with that pretence and he has now accepted that he knew money which was funding his comfortable life-style was the proceeds of crime."
Following today's sentencing Sussex Police, having examined all the evidence compiled about Graysmark's financial affairs, will instigate a Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation process. A confiscation hearing will take place at Maidstone Crown Court on a date yet to be confirmed
Graysmark's offences came to light when police stopped his car, which was being driven alone by his partner Darren Simpson, 42, on the northbound A23 at Handcross on the early evening of Wednesday 8 April last year, and found three blocks of cocaine weighing 3 kilos and with an estimated potential street value of £148,000. Simpson, of the same address as Graysmark, was arrested and charged with possession of the cocaine with intent with to supply.
Enquiries led detectives straight to Graysmark's address where they seized a quantity of financial correspondence, together with £12,000 cash which was made subject of detention order under POCA.