A specialist police unit raided the £1m mansion of a convicted drugs kingpin - a former director of the now defunct Chester City Football Club - as part of a financial investigation into her assets.
Officers from the economic crime unit of Titan, the north-west regional organised crime unit, executed a search warrant at Paula White’s luxury home in Ellesmere Park, Monton, Salford.
Former accountant White, 48, was the mastermind of a Breaking Bad-style drugs gang which sparked the largest ever UK police investigation into the mail order trade of ‘legal highs’ - worth around £3m.
A website called Wide Mouth Frogs had more than 18,500 registered customers and offered drugs for sale, but claimed they were all legal products offering a range of ‘enhanced stimulants’.
Officers swooped to make arrests after deliveries were traced back to a mill in Farnworth, Bolton - known as ‘Area 51’ by employees after the US Air base at the centre of UFO theories in Nevada.
There police found ‘kilos and kilos’ of drugs. Tablets and powders were found to contain banned substances including the class B stimulant Mephedrone, also known as ‘M-Cat’ or ‘Meow Meow’.
White pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs on the basis that the business started legitimately but criminality began in January 2011.
She was jailed alongside other ringleaders at a hearing at Bolton Crown Court in June 2015.
Police swooped on her home on Stafford Road early on Thursday morning and extensive searches were carried out.
It’s understood that the operation related to ongoing legal hearings under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which is used to claw back ill-gotten gains from convicted criminals. Investigators are assessing her assets.
A date for a hearing in front of judge Peter Davies at Carlisle Crown Court is yet to be set after the case was mentioned in court earlier this month.
In a statement, Titan said: “Officers from the economic crime unit at Titan, the North West regional organised crime unit, executed a warrant at a property on Stafford Road, Ellesmere Park in Greater Manchester, at about 9.45am on Thursday.
"A search of the property has been completed as part of an ongoing investigation into the assets of a convicted drug dealer.”
White’s life of luxury off the back of her drugs trade was laid bare in court at the sentencing hearing.
Police swooped to arrest her in May 2013 as she was having an outdoor swimming pool and an extension and ‘orangery’ built on the grounds.
It’s also understood that she was in the process of building expensive kennels for her dogs and she drove an £80,000 Aston Martin.
The investigations also found she had recently purchased a luxury £800,000 villa complete with swimming pool in Los Monteros, near Marbella on the south coast of Spain.
According to company records, Ms White was listed as a director for the now-defunct Chester City Football Club and Widnes Vikings rugby league club for the same three-week period in March 2007.
Prior to becoming director at Chester, Ms White was an accountant for the club, which was run by controversial Liverpool businessman Stephen Vaughan at the time.