A drug dealer from East Ham, who had denied involvement in a local gang, was jailed at Basildon Crown Court after police showed YouTube videos of him rapping with other members of the gang. The police described the group as 'notorious'.
Kasende Kasongo, 25, was arrested on 14 August after police were alerted to a suspicious group of men in an alleyway. Police said that Kasongo attempted to throw items over a fence and escape when they arrived, but he was quickly apprehended.
During a search, Kasongo was found with £345 and two mobile phones that contained incriminating messages linking him to crack cocaine and heroin dealing in Basildon. Kasongo pleaded guilty to two counts of being concerned in the supply of the Class A drugs heroin and crack cocaine.
Though his defence attempted to tell the court that there was "no evidence" linking Kasongo to the Woodrange gang, officers from the Metropolitan Police's Gangs Unit and the South Operation Raptor team showed YouTube videos to the court from the gang featuring Kasongo.
In a press release, Essex Police said the videos "demonstrated he was in a fact a high-ranking member of the gang". Kasongo was sentenced to four and half years behind bars on Friday 24 November.
"When we arrested Kasongo it was clear he was travelling into our town from London to supply Class A drugs," PC Andy Heard of the South Operation Raptor team said.
"The phone evidence clearly linked him to drug dealing but he continually tried to deny his association with them. However, sadly for Kasongo, all the evidence we needed to demonstrate that he was not only in the gang, but also a high-ranking member, was there for all to see online.
"Operation Raptor will continue to target those, like Kasongo, who are involved in gang-related crime and think they can come into our county to deal drugs."