A MOTHER who orchestrated a region-wide drugs network made an astonishing £2.3m from her criminal career, a court has heard.

Angelique Huggett is serving a prison sentence of eight years and ten months for running a Middlesbrough-based gang of dealers.

The cartel had tentacles across the North-East and had links to others in London and Nottingham, Teesside Crown Court was told.

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Mother-of-three Huggett, 44, was jailed along with ex-husband, Dominic, 43, and former lover, David Turnbull, 43, in May this year.

She returned to court with Turnbull on Friday for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing as police sought to confiscate their criminal gains.

Dominic Huggett did not appear in front of Judge Gillian Matthews, QC, because he refused to come from his prison cell in Northumberland.

The judge ruled that he made £83,566 from crime and must pay back the £6,670 which he has available or face a further six months' jail.

Turnbull was ordered to give up £38,164 of his £48,714 benefit within six months or have 18 months added to the sentence he is serving.

Mother-of-three Huggett has been given a year to pay £70,744 of the £2,320,183 she made or face a further two years behind bars.

Simon Myers, prosecuting, told Judge Matthews that police expect the money to come from the sale of a number of properties she owns.

Dominic Huggett, of Centenary, Norton, near Stockton, was jailed for seven years, and Turnbull, of no fixed abode, got eight years and ten months.

The trio admitted conspiracy to supply drugs after an 18-month undercover operation – codenamed Greenfinch – caught them in the cat.

A fourth man, John Muldoon, 25, from Bedlington, Northumberland, disputes how much he made from his role and faces a hearing in March.

At the hearing in May, Judge Matthews said: “This represents professional criminals operating drugs supply on a commercial scale.”

The court heard how a number of packages of cocaine were intercepted by police before the gang branched out into heroin and amphetamine.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Buckley, of the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: “We will continue to target organised criminals in the North-East policing area and concentrate on stripping them of their assets.

“This is another success for the Regional Organised Crime Unit and shows what we can achieve by working with our partner agencies, including the North East Regional Asset Recovery Team.”