A Special Branch officer has admitted money laundering after an inquiry into drug dealing.

Darren Graysmark, 44, of Coney Furlong, Peacehaven, appeared at Maidstone Crown Court today, more than a year after his arrest by the Sussex Police serious and organised crime unit.

He pleaded guilty to laundering £80,921 by spending money which his partner, Darren Simpson, 42, had made through drugs.

Sussex Police confirmed he has resigned from the force after being suspended since April last year.

Graysmark was released on bail by a judge at Maidstone Crown Court until a future hearing when he will be sentenced.

He has 23 years’ service with Sussex Police, including as a detective constable in the major crime branch and as a Special Branch constable working at Newhaven Port.

Sussex Police found three kilo-sized blocks of cocaine, worth £148,000 on the street, when they stopped Simpson driving alone in Graysmark’s car on the A23 near Handcross on Wednesday, April 8, last year.

Simpson was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to supply

They searched the home Simpson and Graysmark shared and seized £12,000 cash and financial correspondence. Graysmark was arrested on suspicion of money-laundering.

Simpson and James Parker McCue, 28, of Old School Place, Brighton, have since admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Both are in custody awaiting sentence.

Shaun Clancy, 43, and Fergus Gilman, 42, both of The Lichfields, Basildon, Essex, and formerly of St Margarets, Rottingdean, are awaiting trial on the same charge.

They are due to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday 28 August.

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.

“Our response to this isolated example of police criminality 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.”

Sussex Police are now planning to apply to confiscate Graysmark’s illegal earnings under the Proceeds of Crime Act.