A ROOKIE drug dealer tried to hide wraps of cocaine from the police by putting them in a soft drinks can.

JJ Barber was spotted by police officers with two other men on a path near his home address on June 6 last year.

Serena Edwards, prosecuting, said officers detained them on suspicion of drug dealing, and started to lead them towards one of the men’s houses.

She said: “The defendant had a can of drink and asked if he could throw it in the bin.

“The officer took it from him and emptied it, and saw there were two wraps of Class A drugs, which has since been confirmed as cocaine.”

Officers searched Barber’s house and found £230, a small amount of cannabis, scales and plastic deal bags.

He admitted in interview that he made the £230 from dealing cannabis to people he knew, but was only holding the cocaine for a friend.

Teri Elin, defending, said: “He had only been dealing for a couple of days. As soon as he was in custody, he realised how stupid it was.”

Barber, of Falkland Road, Popley, appeared in the dock at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to possession of crack cocaine, and the possession and supply of cannabis The court heard the 19-year-old had already been sentenced to 10 weeks in a young offenders institution for criminal damage.

Presiding magistrate Stephen Bibby said: “You are a young man and really do not want to start out a life dealing in drugs like this.”

He sentenced Barber to 21 days in a young offenders institution, to run concurrently to the 10-week punishment, for possession of Class A drugs.

There were no separate penalties for the other two drugs charges against Barber.