A DRUG dealer caught with three kilos of cannabis worth more than £16,000 has been spared jail.

Basildon Crown Court heard how police officers from the South Operation Raptor team were patrolling in Long Riding, Basildon on August 15 this year when they became suspicious of a hire vehicle.

Officers stopped the car and after discovering driver, 38-year-old Lee Webb, was uninsured they carried out a search of the vehicle.

They found a bag containing six wraps of the Class A and B drugs cocaine and amphetamine and £380 in cash.

Officers carried out a search of Webb’s home in St Catherine’s Close, where they seized cannabis and drug-dealing paraphernalia including deal bags and weighing scales.

Officers then carried out a further search of a property linked to Webb in Fonteyn Close, Basildon. It was in this property that they found three kilos of the Class B drug cannabis with an estimated street value of more than £16,000. They also found a drug dealing “tick list”, which is a list of names of ‘customers’ and the debts they owed. The total of money owed on the list for drugs amounted to £19,491.

Webb was arrested, charged and admitted possession with intent to supply a Class B drug, possessing a Class A drug, two counts of possessing a Class B drug and driving without insurance.

Webb was given a two-year jail term suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and to carry out 60 days of rehabilitation on Monday.

Investigating officer PC Dan Onley of the South Operation Raptor team said: “Webb was found to have a huge amount of cannabis which undoubtedly was destined to be sold on the streets of our county.

“Fortunately Operation Raptor have ensure that both these drugs were removed from our streets.

“Our message is clear if you think you can deal drugs in our county, you can’t – Operation Raptor will find you, arrest you and put you behind bars.”

Essex Police set up Operation Raptor teams in the North, South and West of the county to tackle drug and gang-related crime. If you have information about drug or gang-related crime in your community contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.