A 26-YEAR-OLD has been sentenced to two years behind bars after he was caught with nearly £3,000 worth of cocaine.

Ben Cross, of Percy Green Place, Huntingdon, was caught in August last year after two police officers noticed him moving about inside his car, trying to conceal items. When they pulled him over, he fled the scene, but a search of his vehicle revealed two blocks of cocaine and five wraps, as well as three mobile phones and £35 in cash.

After his arrest, officers searched his home and found other drug paraphernalia, as well as a small amount of ecstasy. Six wraps of cocaine were also discovered discarded along the route where Cross had fled.

Cross was sentenced at Huntingdon Crown Court on Monday after pleading guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply, and guilty to possessing the Class A drug MDMA.

At an earlier hearing, magistrates had heard one mobile phone contained a text message that said: "You're a terrible drug dealer."

Gill McGivern, defending, said Cross had been driven to supplying drugs by a £500-a-week cocaine habit and gambling addiction. As a teenager he had extensive surgery to his lower jaw because of a medical condition. Following his recovery aged 16, he was assaulted and had to undergo further operations.

Mrs McGivern said: "He stays indoors with a small circle of friends. His social life is built around weekends with these people playing poker and taking drugs. That was the safest place to be. He did not want to be on the streets or in a nightclub.

"He has described this experience [in court] as a massive wake-up call. He is about to lose everything he has worked for."

Passing sentence, Judge Clegg said: "I have spent some time considering whether I can avoid sentencing you to prison, but this is just too serious.

"This was no one-off. You had been supplying cocaine at a relatively low level to a small group of friends for some time."

Sergeant Michael Basford said: "This demonstrates we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to catch those selling class A drugs and put them before the courts.

"Drugs, particularly class A, have a malign effect on our community and we will continue to do all we can to take those who deal in them off the streets."

Pc Darren Ockenden said: "I would like to thank members of the public who assisted in our investigation. They do not want people like Cross operating in their community and we will continue to target them.

"Drug dealers should also be aware that further to putting them before the courts. We will also look to seize all the ill-gotten assets we can from them through the Proceeds of Crime Act."