Notorious Islington gang raided by police
One of Islington’s most notorious gangs may have been cracked after a series of dawn raids across the borough yesterday.
The EC1 gang, also known as Easy Cash, lost their “kingpin” and four other suspected members after police arrests in the swoop, attended by the Gazette.
At 7.30am around 30 police, including officers who specialise in smashing through locked doors, split into six teams and forced their way into nine properties in the south of Islington.
They had warrants for eight suspected gangsters, including one described by police as “the main man”, for conspiracy to supply the class A drugs crack and heroin, and other individual offences.
Det Sgt Rick Nolan, who was running the operation, told his officers to look for drugs, cash, clothes and mobile phones, warning them to be careful as the suspects were part of “street gangs who actively carry weapons”.
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At the home of the suspected gang leader, officers surrounded nearby streets as he had fled before and was believed to have neighbours who might help him escape.
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Det Sgt Nolan said: “He is the one we want. If he is not arrested there will be a lot of upset officers. We need to find him and cuff him quickly.”
Police broke down the door, found the suspect at home and arrested him.
News filtered through that one of the alleged gang members had not been caught, so the team rushed to his girlfriend’s home – a suspected “fencing house”, where drugs, weapons and cash are stored.
Police tried to break through the door, but when they got in, the suspect and his partner were not there.
Det Sgt Nolan said: “The bed was still warm, so they were here very recently. There will be a manhunt for him today and he will turn up.
“I am very pleased, today has been a great result and we have got the main man.
“This will massively disrupt the gang’s operations, not just the drug dealing but the street violence and snatches, which are their bread and butter, as well as the burglaries and smash and grab raids they take part in.”
Islington is now in the top 10 boroughs for gang activity, according to the Met.
Trainee Det Con Jose Lagares said: “The EC gang has been on our radar recently, but they are not a big, organised gang.
‘‘We want to deal with them now before they become one. “We have got these guys bang to rights – it’s just a case of getting them in off the streets.”
The raids were the climax of a four-month operation which was sparked off by the stabbing of a young man on the Spa Green Estate, in Finsbury, in September last year.