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POLICE have arrested convicted gangster John Damon Gizzi after searching the north west of England for Rhyl's self-styled "Mr Big".

North Wales Police yesterday revealed they picked up the 39-year-old near Burnley on Wednesday for conspiracy to supply Class A controlled drugs.

North Wales officers travelled to Lancashire to arrest him after putting out a "wanted" appeal on Tuesday in a bid to track him down.

A force spokesman said: "We would like to reassure the public that we are committed to keeping our communities safe."

Gizzi is widely regarded as one of Wales' most notorious gangsters.

He spent three years in prison for conspiracy to supply counterfeit cigarettes and serious assaults, before his release in March last year. He lived the life of a millionaire and when behind bars sent a message to police bragging: "I may be locked up but I still run Rhyl."

The builder, who officially earned pounds 16,000 a year but lived in a pounds 1.5m mansion in St Asaph and drove a Bentley, was finally brought to justice after two men he beat with sticks testified against him.

He was due to be released in December 2008, but was kept locked up after he failed to pay back pounds 2.6m of his ill gotten gains. In March 2009 a judge decided he'd paid back enough - just over pounds 1m - to be released.

As well as the mansion, 20 other mortgage properties were sold, and a Rolex watch. Four number plates - JDG 1 to 4 - had also been sold along with a fleet of luxury cars which also included a Range Rover and a Mercedes.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 30, 2010
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