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Young Thug & Gunna Charged With Racketeering In Atlanta

Young Thug & Gunna Charged With Racketeering In Atlanta

Young Thug & Gunna Charged With Racketeering In Atlanta

Prosecutors allege in a sprawling indictment that charges Atlanta rapper Young Thug, rapper Gunna, and 26 others with racketeering that they co-founded a violent street gang that committed multiple murders, shootings, and carjackings over a decade and promoted its activities in songs and on social media.

Multiple music videos are used as evidence in the 88-page indictment issued Monday in Georgia’s Fulton county, and suspected gang members are accused of targeting other high-profile rap artists.

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“It doesn’t matter what your notoriety or fame is, if you come to Fulton County, Georgia, and commit crimes, you will become a target and a focus of this district attorney’s office, and we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law,” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said at a press conference announcing the charges on Tuesday.

Young Thug & Gunna Charged With Racketeering In Atlanta

Young Thug’s real name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, and he and Childish Gambino co-wrote the single This is America, which made history by becoming the first hip-hop song to win a Grammy for song of the year in 2019. According to Fulton County authorities, he and two others created Young Slime Life, a violent criminal street gang that is associated with the national Bloods gang, in late 2012.

He was arrested at his house in Buckhead, an elite Atlanta area, on Monday. On allegations of conspiracy to violate Georgia’s Rico Act and involvement in a criminal street gang, he was being held in the Fulton County jail.

Young Thug’s lawyer, Brian Steel, told news outlets that “Mr Williams committed no crime whatsoever” and he would “fight till his last drop of blood to clear him”.

Also charged in the indictment were rapper Gunna, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens, and aspiring rapper Christian Eppinger, who was already in jail and is accused of shooting an Atlanta police officer six times in February. Gunna, who is accused of conspiracy to violate the state’s Rico Act, was not in custody as of Tuesday afternoon, Fulton county sheriff Pat Labat said.

Young Thug & Gunna Charged With Racketeering In Atlanta

In addition to specific charges, the indictment includes a wide-ranging list of 181 acts that prosecutors say were committed starting in 2013 as part of the alleged Rico conspiracy to further the gang’s interests.

In 2015, Williams rented an Infiniti sedan that five alleged gang members used when they shot and killed a rival gang member, the indictment says.

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Williams and Kitchens in 2017 had methamphetamine, hydrocodone and marijuana that they intended to distribute and were involved in a traffic stop the following year in which one of the vehicles had numerous weapons with high capacity magazines, including an AK-47, according to the indictment.

It quotes lyrics from multiple music video appearances by Williams, including one from 2018 in which he says, “I never killed anybody but I got something to do with that body,” and “I told them to shoot hundred rounds.”

Young Thug & Gunna Charged With Racketeering In Atlanta

Willis said she respects the first amendment right to free speech, but she believes the song lyrics cited in the indictment are “overt and predicate acts” that support the Rico charge.

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“The First Amendment does not protect people from prosecutors using it as evidence if it is so,” she said.

The indictment also accuses members of the gang of trying to kill rapper YFN Lucci, whose given name is Rayshawn Bennett, by “stabbing and stabbing at” him with a shank in the Fulton county jail. YFN Lucci was among a dozen people charged in another gang-related Rico indictment in Fulton county a year ago.

The indictment also says it was an alleged member of the gang who shot at a bus in 2015 that was carrying rapper Lil Wayne.

Willis said she plans to seek the maximum possible penalties for the people charged in the indictment. For at least some of them, that could mean life in prison.

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