Atlanta rapper Young Thug was one of 28 people indicted Monday in Georgia on street gang charges and conspiracy to violate the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act, according to jail records.
The United States Sentencing Commission defines RICO as an act which “provides for criminal prosecution of racketeering activities as part of an ongoing criminal organization.”
The rapper, whose name is Jeffrey Lamar Williams, was arrested at his home in Buckhead, an Atlanta neighbourhood just north of downtown. He is being held at the Fulton County Jail.
The conspiracy charge dates back to 2013 and the gang charge to 2018, the jail record says.
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Young Thug is facing charges in a 56-count indictment according to WSB-TV reporter Michael Seiden. The reporter claimed within the 88-page indictment, “there are some very serious allegations,” including an accusation the rapper rented a 2014 Infiniti Q50 sedan which was used in the commission of the murder of Donovan Thomas, Jr., a rival gang member, in 2015.
Young Thug is allegedly one of three founders of the Young Slime Life, “a criminal street gang that started in late 2012” in Atlanta, the indictment says. YSL is affiliated with the national Bloods gang, officials said. Charges include “Preserving, protecting and enhancing the reputation, power and territory of the enterprise through acts of racketeering activity including murder, assault and threats of violence.”
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Young Thug’s lawyer Brian Steel told local media that “Mr. Williams committed no crime whatsoever” and that he would “fight till his last drop of blood to clear him.”
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He will make his first court appearance on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.
Also indicted on Monday were Atlanta rapper Gunna, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens, and aspiring rapper Christian Eppinger, who was already in jail, accused of shooting an Atlanta Police officer six times in February. It was not immediately known if Gunna, who is accused of conspiracy to violate the state’s RICO act, has been arrested.
In April 2021 Young Thug and Gunna posted bail for 30 inmates who were unable to afford the costs themselves.
Young Thug’s record label has been called YSL Records or Young Stoner Life Records. The label refers to its artists as part of the “Slime Family,” and a compilation album called Slime Language 2 hit No. 1 on the charts in April 2021.
— With files from Global News’ Sarah Do Couto
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