Officers approached a stationary car in Cedar Road, Canvey Island on Tuesday 30 June when they saw its body work was in bad condition.
They spoke to the driver and carried out checks to make sure it was roadworthy.
While speaking to the driver, 22 year-old Gentian Peka, they asked him why he was parked up in that location.
During the conversation Peka became increasingly agitated and refused to say why he was there.
The officers then searched Peka under the Misuse of Drugs Act and carried out a search of the car.
In the vehicle they found a knife and a hammer in the footwell on the driver’s side footwell as well as a number of wraps of suspected Class A drugs, and more than £400 in cash.
Peka, of London Road, Benfleet, was arrested and later charged with possession of a knife in a public place, possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and acquiring, using, or possessing criminal property.
At Basildon Crown Court on 30 July he admitted all offences and at the same court on 12 October he was jailed for a total of two years and three months.
Investigating officer PC Samuel Scrivener said: “This is a great result and it should send a message to all would be drug dealers.
“If you plan on selling drugs on Canvey Island, officers will work hard to find you and get you behind bars”