AN 18-year-old man from Runcorn caught with around 15 bags of cannabis bush and MDMA tablets by police during a stop and search has been jailed for three years.

Lewis Bates, of Grangemoor, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply a class A drug (MDMA) and two counts of possession with intent to supply a class B drug (cannabis and cannabis resin).

He was sentenced for the offences at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday, September 17.

Bates was ordered to serve three years in a young offenders' institution.

The charges relate to an incident in Grangemoor.

At around 10.15am on Monday, August 19, police saw Bates acting suspiciously and walked towards him.

Bates stopped next to a car and put a metal tin he was carrying on top of it.

Officers could smell cannabis when talking to Bates.

They subsequently searched him and the tin he was carrying and found around 15 bags of cannabis bush, a quantity of cannabis resin and three MDMA tablets.

He was also in possession of a quantity of cash.

Bates was arrested and a search warrant was executed at his home, where a mobile phone belonging to him was found to contain evidence of drug dealing activity.

The drugs that he had on him when he was stopped and searched by officers had a street value of around £200.

Police Constable Chris Roberts, who led the investigation into Bates' drug offences on behalf of Runcorn Local Policing Unit, said: "Illegal drugs have a hugely detrimental impact on our communities.

"They cause widespread misery and removing those involved in drug dealing from our town is of paramount importance.

"I hope that the sentence handed to Bates reaffirms the message that drug dealing in Runcorn and the wider Cheshire area will not be tolerated.

"I also hope that it deters others from getting involved in the supply of illegal drugs.

"This is not Bates' first conviction for possession of illegal drugs with intent to supply them.

"He is still very young and I hope that whilst servicing his custodial sentence he reflects on the life he has been leading and changes his ways."

Residents are urged to report drug dealing by calling Cheshire Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Information can also be provided by emailing