A TEENAGER who was caught with nearly 70 wraps of Class A drugs in Southend has been banned from Essex.

A 17-year-old boy from Ilford, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was spotted acting suspiciously on Southend High Street on November 19 last year.

When he was approached the teenager tried to flee. He fell to the ground and in his clenched fist he was found to have Class A drugs including 26 wraps of heroin and 42 wraps of crack cocaine, totalling 68 wraps.

The teen was arrested and charged with two counts of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply.

He admitted the charges when he appeared at Barkingside Crown Court last year.

He was made the subject of an exclusion requirement, which has seen him banned from entering Essex, Dorset and the London borough of Brent for three months.

The teenager was also made the subject of a six-month curfew banning him from going out between the hours of 8pm and 7am and ordered to complete a 14-day weapons and substance misuse awareness course.

Following the sentencing, which took place on Monday January 7 at the same court, a spokesman for Essex Police's South Op Raptor team said: “This teenager was found with a significant amount of heroin and crack cocaine which, no doubt, would have been destined for the streets of Southend.

“Fortunately we were able to arrest him and seize his drugs. Hopefully, the punishment given to him by the courts, including the education programme he is undertaking, will make him think twice about a life of dealing drugs on the streets.”

Essex Police set up Operation Raptor teams in the North, South and West of the county to tackle drug and gang-related crime.

Anyone with information about drug or gang-related crime within their community can contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.