THE kingpin of a county lines operation, who used children to carry their drugs in their bodies, made almost £100,000 from his illicit trade.

But Anthony Simister, who ran the Buck gang, has been ordered to hand over just £810 of the profit he made from peddling heroin and crack cocaine. And his second in command, Luchiano Cox, will only have to hand back £205.

At a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing Swindon Crown Judge Robert Pawson ruled 27-year-old Simister benefitted from his dealing to the tune of £94,103. But he was told the Londoner’s only available assets were the £810 found on him when by police when he was arrested.

Cox, 26, benefitted from crime by £12,150, but only had £205 taken from him and the men were told they will get seven day jail terms if they don’t sign over the cash. Should either of the men come into money in the future the authorities can pursue them for the remainder of the proceeds.

In June last year Simister was jailed for nine years and Cox eight-and-a-half, for their roles in dealing heroin and crack cocaine across Swindon. They used children to dodge police strip-search regulations and preyed on a vulnerable addict to cuckoo in his property, using it as a local base for their trade.The gang used two 16-year-old boys to ferry about drugs which had been stored in their backsides. Because youths are covered by different regulations when they are arrested it meant it was less likely police would be able to seize the substances.

Simister ran the operation, which used his street name Buck, from early 2015 until it was brought to a halt by detectives in May 2017. During that time he was responsible for transporting 1.75kgs of class A drugs worth tens of thousands pounds up the M4 from the capital for sale in Swindon.

He was responsible for the drugs phone line, which often changed number when they feared the police were on to them. As the operation went on he recruited Cox who was involved for six-and-a-half months, during which 0.44kg of hard drugs were sold.The pair would routinely travel with the youths, Cox often carrying the money and once he was seen to have body armour in his car.

A third man Dvontre McCalla, 23, moved in to the Eldene home of Darryl Harper, a heroin addict with mental health problems, selling drugs from the property. Londoner Shanice Burrell, 26, was involved for two months to work off a debt and Abdul Farok, 19, sold drugs for a day. McCalla got four years in jail, Harper, Burrell and Farok got suspended sentences.