Grammy-winning rapper Young Thug, who was arrested earlier this week after being named in a sweeping gang indictment along with 27 other people affiliated with his Young Slime Life (YSL) syndicate, was charged with seven additional felony counts on Wednesday, according to Atlanta’s WSB-TV .
Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams, was arrested on charges of gang activity and conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). According to county jail records, Williams is now facing additional charges including possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
The new counts were added after authorities raided the home Williams was staying at during Monday’s arrest, according to the station.
Williams and more than two dozen other alleged YSL affiliates were indicted, including Sergio Kitchens, who performs under the stage name, Gunna. He is specifically accused of theft by receiving stolen property, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and participation in criminal street gang activity, WBS-TV reports.
Kitchens turned himself in to Fulton County police on Wednesday morning and was booked in a county jail. Other alleged YSL members have also been arrested, but a number have yet to be taken into custody, according Billboard.
During a virtual court appearance Wednesday, Kitchens’ attorney argued for a bond in the case, but the magistrate judge said the decision would be left for the superior court judge, WSB-TV reports.
His attorney told WSB that Kitchens is innocent and that the “indictment falsely portrays his music as part of criminal conspiracy.” Kitchens is due back in court in June.
At a news conference Tuesday, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said YSL “is a hybrid gang that operates here in Atlanta and it’s an affiliate of the Blood gang” which had wreaked “havoc in our community.” Willis added that she will be seeking the “maximum penalties” for those involved, including life in prison for some.
“It does not matter what your notoriety is, what your fame is,” she said. “If you come to Fulton County, Georgia, and you commit crimes, and certainly if those crimes are in furtherance of a street gangs, you are going to become a target and a focus of this district attorney’s office and we are going to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”
Willis also cited social media and music as playing a crucial role in the investigation into Williams and his YSL associates—a controversial tactic that has for years sparked debate over whether lyrics are protected free speech.
According to the indictment, prosecutors cited lyrics from nine of Williams’ songs including from 2014’s “Eww,” 2016’s “Slime Shit,” last year’s “Ski” (a collaborative track with Kitchens) as examples of “overt acts,” some of which constitute racketeering.
If Williams—who appeared before a Fulton County magistrate judge Tuesday and remains in jail until the case goes before Superior Court—is convicted of a RICO Act charge, he could face a maximum of 20 years in jail and a fine of $250,000, the Los Angeles Times reports.
On Tuesday, Williams’ lawyer Brian Steel spoke out about his client, saying he “committed no crime whatsoever” and that he would “fight till his last drop of blood to clear him,” according to Billboard.
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