A MAJOR surveillence operation was launched after nearly half a kilo of cocaine was found in a car.

A court heard police officers made the find when they stopped Peter Bark’s car on the A133 near Weeley on March 2 last year.

They found half a kilo of 76 per cent-pure cocaine and Bark, 47, was arrested.

Police took Bark's mobile phone and calls he received led police to extend their probe, the trial heard.

Names and numbers in the phone memory were checked and officers gathered photographic evidence over the next three months.

It ended with raids in Clacton and at industrial units in west Essex in June last year.

Police made eight arrests and a huge haul of cocaine and cannabis, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, was recovered.

The prosecution has told a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court eight people were involved in various ways with the drugs operation.

Bark is one of four people who have admitted charges, the court heard. Four others are on trial.

David Cooper, 27, of Hendon Close, Clacton, Elaine Shea, 52, of Plymouth Road, Clacton, and Alan Farra, 47, of Severn Road, Clacton, all deny conspiracy to supply cocaine between March 1 and June 30 last year.

Cooper also denies possession of criminal property – cash.

Farra and his son Ronnie, 20, of Lymington Avenue, Clacton, both deny possessing cannabis with intent to supply between March and June last year.

Peter Dawson, prosecucting, said the surveillence operation showed the defendants at various locations in Clacton, including West Road, Lymington Avenue, Severn Road and Gorse Road.

An industrial unit at the Nazeing Glassworks site in west Essex was also searched by police and nearly half a kilo of cocaine was found, along with 200 kilos of cannabis resin and 93 kilos of herbal cannabis.

Mr Dawson said Cooper made no comment when he was interviewed.

Alan Farra allegedly said he was responsible for drugs found in a yard, not his son.

Ronnie Farra allegedly said his father was responsible for these drugs.

Elaine Shea allegedly admitted cultivating cannabis, but denied knowing about any drug-related items found in her garage by police.

The trial continues.