POLICE moved in on a would-be drug dealer after receiving a tip-off that he was conducting a supply operation from his car.

James McNeil was caught with multiple bars of cannabis resin worth nearly £1,000 stashed in the silver-coloured BMW.

Around £2,000 in cash seized during a subsequent search of his Brisbane Street flat has now been confiscated as he begins a jail term.

Greenock Sheriff Court heard how McNeil, 32, was under surveillance by plain clothes police as part of the intelligence-led operation to trap him.

Procurator fiscal Ziad Ul Hassan said: "Police had been aware of information regarding the accused being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs from a silver-coloured BMW in and around Inverclyde.

"Two plain clothes officers on mobile patrol in an unmarked car observed the vehicle on Jamaica Street.

"The accused drove away at speed and police later observed the vehicle entering the BP petrol station on Regent Street."

The court heard that police found three 100 gram bars of cannabis resin in a seat pocket within the BMW as a small amount of cocaine.

Mr Ul Hassan said that the total potential value of the resin — if sub-divided into seven gran deals of £20 each — was £840.

Around £100 worth of cocaine, a £10 ecstasy tablet and £1,954 in cash was recovered from McNeil's home.

The court was told that he initially told police that the cannabis resin was all for personal use but pleaded guilty to a charge of possession with intent to supply.

His lawyer, Charles Drummond, said: "He is an individual who gets through a good deal of cannabis and has done for many years.

"He is keen to address his issues with cannabis."

Sheriff Thomas Ward told McNeil: "You pleaded guilty to intending to supply a substantial amount of cannabis resin, and you had possession class A drugs and a substantial amount of money.

"The money will be forfeited."

The sheriff added: "As far as I can se this place is awash with drugs and people who supply them can expect to go to jail."

McNeil was sentenced to 163 days imprisonment.