POLICE officers who pulled over a driver for jumping a red light were shocked to discover he had £70,000 worth of cannabis in the boot of his car.

Basildon Crown Court heard how officers stopped 24-year-old Edmond Gaxha on Eastern Esplanade in Southend after witnessing the traffic offence.

It was when officers stopped Gaxha and searched his car that they found the huge haul of the class B drug.

Money also found in the car at the time was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Gaxha, of Seymour Gardens, Ilford, was convicted of possession with intent to supply cannabis at the court last Friday and jailed for a total of nine months.

Speaking after the sentencing of Gaxha, PC Alex Farr from Southend Local Policing Team spoke of the officers’ good fortune to find the haul and said: “Stopping this car for a traffic offence has led to the removal of a large amount of drugs and an offender from the streets.

“We will not tolerate drug dealing in our community.”

Councillor Martin Terry, who is responsible for the Thorpe Ward was disappointed with the nine-month sentence imposed on Gaxha.

“It’s a very lenient sentence and I’m very frustrated at it,” he said.

“I don’t believe the sentence is in line with the crime of £70,000 worth.

“I don’t think that’s representative as it’s probably just the tip of the iceberg.

“We also know these things are linked to other types of crimes as a big percentage of crimes are linked to drugs.

“We need education and we need to be harder on these types of crimes.

“We need more resources on the streets and boots on the ground to tackle these types of crimes.

“Southend needs more resources and police enforcement in order to reduce crime.

“If there’s noone on the streets people will be less fearful of being caught.”

PC Farr also urged residents to inform the police of any information about drug dealing in their community.

You can do so by contacting Essex Police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.