A GYM manager and drug dealer was found with thousands of pounds worth of cannabis.

Marco James-Pittau was pulled over by police in Southend where cannabis was found in his car.

The 26-year-old had been driving “aimlessly” around a known area for drug dealing which raised suspicions.

Police found a significant quantity of cannabis in the car and later searched his home and discovered more cannabis and cash.

He had £1,160 cash on him at the time, £1,300 at his home and the cannabis had an estimated street value of £3,000.

James-Pittau, who helps manage Southend Street Gym off priory Avenue, was released under investigation for almost a year following the arrest on January 6, 2019.

He admitted two counts of possession with intent to supply cannabis and was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court yesterday.

Matthew Bagnall, mitigating, said that in the year since arrest he had made numerous efforts to turn his life around, stopped using cannabis, enrolled part time at college and aided the expansion of the gym.

He added: “He is very much a different person to the man who was driving around in the car that evening.

Judge Andrew Hurst said: “There is a misapprehension that cannabis doesn’t count, that people can just deal cannabis all the time, but that’s not the case.

“It’s a very serious offence.

“In your instance having cannabis worth £3,000 and cash lying around makes you someone who would be looking at a custodial sentence.

“You have not just sat there and worried about it, you have done something about it.

“Nothing this court does today should jeopardise that.

“You have taken steps to address your cannabis habit and you seem to be living a highly respectable and clean lifestyle.” James-Pittau, of Sutton Road, Southend, was sentenced to a year in prison suspended for a year with 150 hours unpaid work.