A drug dealer who tried to deny his involvement with a notorious gang was jailed after the court was shown YouTube videos of him rapping with fellow members.
Basildon Crown Court heard how 25-year-old Kasende Kasongo was arrested by Essex Police in Beambridge, Pitsea on August 14 this year following a 999 call to reports of men acting suspiciously in an alleyway.
When police arrived Kasongo ran off, throwing items over a garden fence, but he was quickly arrested.
Kasongo was searched and found with two mobile phones, with a series of incriminating text messages linking him to three networks dealing crack cocaine and Heroin in Basildon. He was also found with £345 cash.
Kasongo, of Langdon Road in East Ham, was charged and pleaded guilty to two counts of being involved in the supply of the Class A drugs heroin and crack cocaine.
During the hearing at Basildon Crown Court Kasongo’s defence counsel claimed there was “no intelligence” he was related to the Woodgrange gang.
However officers from the South Operation Raptor team and the Metropolitan Police’s Gangs Unit asked the court to show YouTube videos of the Woodgrange gang rapping.
The rap videos featured Kasongo and demonstrated he was in a fact a high-ranking member of the gang.
The evidence was accepted by the judge and Kasongo was jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Following the sentencing investigating officer PC Andy Heard of the South Operation Raptor team said: “When we arrested Kasongo it was clear he was travelling into our town from London to supply Class A drugs.
“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.”
Essex Police set up Operation Raptor teams in the North, South and West of the county to tackle drug and gang-related crime.
If you have information about drug or gang-related crime in your community please contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Kasongo was sentenced on Friday November 24.
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