DA: Young Thug’s own music, social media used in indictment against him
ATLANTA — Rapper Young Thug and some alleged members of his Young Slime (YSL) Life syndicate were arrested early Monday afternoon on a sweeping gang indictment that named at least 28 people.
Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, is accused of conspiring to associate together and with others for the common purposes of illegally obtaining money and property through a pattern of racketeering activity and conducting and participating in the enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity.
Williams and more than two dozen other alleged YSL members were indicted, including Sergio Kitchens, who goes by the rap name, Gunna. So far, at least three of those named in the indictment have been taken into custody, including Young Thug.
Gunna turned himself in to Fulton County on Wednesday morning, according to jail records.
BREAKING: Rapper Gunna (Sergio Kitchens) has surrendered to authorities in Fulton County. He is charged with Conspiracy to Violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/xYAQZKABF2
— Michael Seiden (@SeidenWSBTV) May 11, 2022
Fulton County District District Attorney Fani Willis said in a news conference Tuesday that Young Thug and the alleged members of YSL operated as a criminal street gang and “commenced to do havoc in our community,” since 2012.
Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant called Young Thug one of Atlanta’s “top offenders” who needed to be taken off the streets.
“They are committing conservatively 75% to 80% of all the violent crime in our community,” Willis said. “It doesn’t matter your notoriety or fame, if you come to Fulton County, Georgia, and you commit crimes, you are going to be a target and a focus of this District Attorney’s office.”
Willis said some of the people being indicted could face life in prison.
Willis said social media and music played a crucial role in the investigation into Young Thug and his associates.
“Social media is a wonderful tool for prosecutors in every indictment we bring these days,” Willis said.
JUST IN: Fulton County DA Fani Willis, Sheriff Patrick Labat & Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant will hold a press conference at 1 pm to discuss the Monday’s indictment against Young Thug, Gunna and 26 other alleged associates of YSL street gang. @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/RUEXKwD1n6
— Michael Seiden (@SeidenWSBTV) May 10, 2022
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The indictment also said Williams and YSL member engaged in the activities such as:
- Preserving, protecting and enhancing the reputation, power and territory of the enterprise through acts of racketeering activity including murder, assault and threats of violence;
- Preserving, protecting and enhancing the reputation, power and territory of the enterprise by the posting of messages, images, videos and songs, demonstrating allegiance to the enterprise and a willingness to engage in violence on its behalf;
- Maintaining armed individuals ready and willing to preserve, protect and enhance the reputation, power and territory of the enterprise through the use of violence;
- Obtaining money, weapons and other property through acts of racketeering activity, including robbery, theft and the unlawful sale and distribution of drugs;
- Obstructing law enforcement investigations and court proceedings through witness intimidation and attacks upon law enforcement officers.
Williams attorney Brian Steel told Channel 2′s Mark Winne that his client committed no crime.
“I’ll tell you the response to any allegation is Mr. Williams committed no crime whatsoever and we will fight to my last drop of blood to clear him,” he said.
Police said YSL claims affiliation with the national Bloods gang and Williams is one of three alleged YSL Founders.
Officials also said the gang was believed to have started in late 2012 in the Cleveland Avenue area of Atlanta.
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“We expect that in coming days weeks and months that we will bring RICO indictments against gang members, even top level gang members, to make sure that we rid them from our society,” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told Winne in an interview last week.
Christian Eppinger, also mentioned in the indictment, is the same individual accused of shooting Atlanta police officer David Rodgers six times in February and seriously wounding him.
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