A man has been sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for drug and fraud offences.

Trevor Baker, aged 46, of Portland Street, Brighton, laundered about £73,000 while dealing drugs.

Baker pleaded guilty and was sentenced at Brighton Crown Court on Monday.

An investigation into his behaviour was led by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) and the Government's Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Detective Chief Inspector David Storey from SEROCU said: “Baker was a persistent criminal who had been stealing from the taxpayer as well as supplying drugs into the local community.

“In September and November 2013 we conducted warrants in which we uncovered MDMA and cash.

“We have been working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions in identifying the fraud which Baker was conducting through money laundering.

“It is estimated that Baker committed approximately £73,000 worth of money laundering through various bank accounts.

Baker was guilty of the following offences:

• Concealing criminal property contrary to Section 327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 – sentenced to two years, six months in prison;

• Possession with intent to supply Class A drugs – sentenced to four years in prison;

• Possession with intent to supply Class B – sentenced to one year in prison.

There were also four counts from the DWP of dishonesty through failing to notify a change in circumstance, Section 111(1a) Social Security Adminstration Act 1992, for which he was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment per count.

All the sentences are to run concurrently.

DCI Storey added: “This sentence shows that we will use all the powers available to us to ensure that these organised crime groups are stopped.”

Baker also failed to declare a source of income while he was claiming income-related benefits - something he did not explain when interviewed by officers.

Bill Boyes, a DWP fraud investigator, said: “The Department for Work and Pensions loss totalled £52,549.

“This case illustrates the importance of close working between investigative agencies to ensure that the total criminality of an offender is fully investigated.”