Rapper Young Thug Arrested, Charged With Conspiracy to Violate Georgia's RICO Act
Rapper Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, is known for his cultural impact on the hip hop and trap music world. Young Thug co-wrote the 2018 song “This is America” with Childish Gambino, which became the 31st song to debut at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Rapper Young Thug, 30, was arrested on Monday
at his home in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia. Fulton County prosecutors charged the musician along with 27 others with conspiracy to violate the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act as well as participation in criminal street gang activities.
, prosecutors filed an 88-page indictment in Fulton Superior Court that outlines specific charges against the 28 individuals, who they allege were part of a gang called “Young Slime Life” (YSL). The members are said to have "conspired to associate 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.”
The indictment lists 181 acts allegedly committed by the YSL gang members —which prosecutors say is an affiliate of the national Bloods gang— between 2012 and 2020, some of those include murder, aggravated assault, firearms violations, theft, drug possession, armed robbery, and carjacking.
The Georgia native has been listed as one of the founders of YSL, which was formed in 2012, along with Walter Murphy and Trontavious Stephen.
During a news conference on Tuesday, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis emphasized her first career goal of targeting gangs, who she says are committing 75% - 80% of all violent crime in Fulton County.
"I said just a week or two ago, it does not matter what your notoriety is or what your fame is, if you come to Fulton County, Georgia, and you commit crimes —and certainly if those crimes are in furtherance of a street gang— then you will become a target and focus of this district attorney's office and we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law," Willis said.
Rapper Gunna, whose real name is Sergio Giavanni Kitchens and is a Grammy-nominated artist, was also charged in the indictment, though it remains unknown if Gunna has been arrested.
Prosecutors say that YSL was operating out of southeast Atlanta as well as the Cleveland Avenue area but began expanding their activities into the surrounding metro area. Members of YSL can be identified by their green or red bandanas, clothes with the letters “YSL” or “slime,” references to Cleveland Avenue as “Bleveland” and the “two guns” hand sign.
Young Thug made his first appearance in court on Tuesday morning. “Mr. Williams committed no crime whatsoever,” his lawyer told local media.