DA: Young Thug’s own music, social media used in indictment against him – WSB-TV Channel 2
ATLANTA — Rappers Young Thug and some alleged members of his Young Slime (YSL) Life syndicate were arrested early Monday afternoon in a sweeping gang indictment that named at least 28 people.
Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, is accused of conspiring to associate with each other and others for the common purpose of obtaining money and property illegally through a pattern of racketeering activity and to conduct and participate in the business through a pattern of racketeering activity.
Williams and more than two dozen other alleged YSL members have been charged, 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.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said at a Tuesday press conference that Young Thug and alleged YSL members were operating like a criminal street gang and “started to wreak havoc in our community.” since 2012.
Willis called Young Thug one of Atlanta’s “top offenders” who needed to be taken off the streets.
“They conservatively commit 75% to 80% of all violent crime in our community,” Willis said. “No matter how famous or notorious you are, if you come to Fulton County, Georgia, and commit crimes, you’re going to be a target and a focus of the district attorney’s office.”
Willis said some of those charged could face life in prison.
Willis said social media and music played a crucial role in the investigation of Young Thug and his associates.
“Social media is a great tool for prosecutors in every indictment we present these days,” Willis said.
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The indictment also stated that Williams and a member of YSL engaged in activities such as:
- Preserve, protect and enhance the reputation, power and territory of the company through acts of racketeering, including murder, assault and threats of violence;
- Preserve, protect, and enhance corporate reputation, power, and turf through the posting of messages, images, videos, and songs, demonstrating corporate allegiance and a willingness to engage in violence in his name ;
- Maintain armed individuals ready and willing to preserve, protect, and enhance corporate reputation, power, and territory through the use of violence;
- Obtaining money, weapons and other property through acts of racketeering, including robbery, theft and the illegal sale and distribution of drugs;
- Obstructing law enforcement investigations and court proceedings through intimidation of witnesses and attacks on law enforcement officials.
Williams’ attorney Brian Steel said Channel 2’s Mark Winne that his client has committed no crime.
“I will tell you that the answer to any allegation is that Mr. Williams has committed no crime and we will fight to the last drop of blood to exonerate him,” he said.
Police said YSL claims affiliation with the national Bloods gang and that Williams is one of three alleged founders of YSL.
Officials also said the gang allegedly started in late 2012 in the Cleveland Avenue neighborhood of Atlanta.
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“We expect that in the days, weeks and months ahead, we will be bringing RICO charges against gang members, even high-level gang members, to make sure we get them out of our society,” he said. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told Winne in an interview last week.
Christian Eppinger, also named in the indictment, is the same individual accused of shooting Atlanta police officer David Rodgers six times in February and seriously injuring him.
Young Thug is expected to make his first court appearance on Tuesday morning.
Channel 2 Action News will keep you posted as details come in.
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