POLICE have warned “crime does not pay” after a Hampshire footballer who was caught drug dealing had almost £10,000 of cash confiscated.

Jude Nwachukwu was caught with a large bag of the Class-B drug when officers pulled over his Dodge at a set of traffic lights in Southampton.

During a subsequent search of Nwachukwu’s home, police also found more than £8,000 in cash in a lock-box.

And last week, Nwachukwu had a total of £10,900 worth of assets confiscated under a legal power – known as the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Detective Chief Inspector Torgout, head of Hampshire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “I hope that this case shows that Hampshire Constabulary won’t just stop at trying to secure jail terms for those who think they can line their pockets with illegal income.

“Eventually, we will make them pay it back.”

As previously reported in the Daily Echo, the 25-year-old, who played for Brockenhurst FC, was given a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years, at Southampton Crown Court in March.

Southampton Crown Court previously heard how Nwachukwu’s Dodge was spotted by police on Romsey Road in Southampton.

Prosecuting, Jane Rowley said officers pulled over Nwachukwu’s vehicle in the early hours of May 12 last year.

On searching the vehicle police found a large bag, containing a number of small bags of the Class B drug.

Officers later searched his rented accommodation, on Burlington Road, Southampton, and found more cannabis.

The total amount seized had a street value of just over £10,000, Ms Rowley said.

Nwachukwu pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply.

Last week, Southampton Crown Court heard how Nwachukwu obtained £42,000 from his criminal conduct.

The court was told the available amount, the amount of Nwachukwu’s realisable assets, was just under £11,000.

Prosecutor Gemma White said police had already seized a total of £9,300 following Nwachukwu’s arrest.

She said this would leave Nwachukwu, who is currently unemployed, to pay the remaining £1,600.

The court heard that if Nwachukwu did not pay the money in three months, he faced a six month prison sentence.

Following his conviction, Brockenhurst FC, said the club had suspended Nwachukwu.

In a statement, the club said: “We had no prior knowledge of the charges against Jude and we were shocked and bitterly disappointed to receive the news.

“The club takes its responsibility in the pastoral care of our players very seriously and suspended Jude within 24 hours of his conviction.”

The Echo contacted Brockenhurst FC to ask if Nwachukwu was still with the Wessex League side.

However the club, who play their football at Grigg Lane, did not respond.