Young Thug was arrested Monday afternoon in Georgia on gang-related charges, according to online jail records.
The “Go Crazy” rapper, legal name Jeffery Lamar Williams, is accused of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and participation in criminal street gang activity. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the RICO act charge comes from an alleged offense committed in January 2013, while the gang activity charge is from an alleged May 2018 incident.
Atlanta police also hit Young Thug with additional charges following a May 9 raid of his Buckhead, Georgia home, Fulton County Jail records revealed. Those charges include possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, “Possession Of Sawed-Off Shotgun, Sawed-Off Rifle, Machine Gun, Dangerous Weapon, Or Silencer,” as well as several other counts related to gang activity.
Young Thug’s arrest comes in the wake of a 56-count grand jury indictment reviewed by Rolling Stone filed in Georgia’s Fulton County that names 28 members or associates of the YSL “criminal street gang” — including fellow rapper Gunna, legal name Sergio Giavanni Kitchens, who is also charged with one count of conspiring to violate RICO.
In a statement shared with Rolling Stone Tuesday, May 10, Williams’ Lawyer, Brian Steel, said, “Mr. Williams was taken into custody upon execution of the arrest warrant and he was cooperative in his dealings with law enforcement at all times. Mr. Williams remains in custody while efforts are being made to secure his pretrial release on bond. Mr. Williams vehemently denies the allegations lodged against him and he looks forward to the opportunity to defend this case in court. We will fight this case ethically, legally and zealously. Mr. Williams will be cleared.”
At a press conference Tuesday, Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat confirmed that Kitchens was not yet in custody, but said he had spoken to the rapper’s representatives. “We’re making arrangements as much as he had representatives call me last night directly,” Labat said. “So we’ll motor through that and let you know.”
Representatives for Gunna have not responded to requests for comment from Rolling Stone.
Officials state YSL — of which Young Thug is identified as a founding member — “claims affiliation with the national Bloods gang.” (The YSL enterprise operates under the name “Young Slime Life,” but also shares the same initials as the 30-year-old rapper‘s Young Stoner Life Records imprint.) Prosecutors claim the named defendants “conspired to associate together and with others for the common purposes of illegally obtaining money and property through a pattern of racketeering activity.”
The 88-page indictment charges Young Thug is both directly and indirectly associated with a slew of criminal activity, ranging from armed robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon to murder.
In February of this year, two YSL associates asked Young Thug for “permission” to “make a second attempt to murder” Atlanta rapper YFN Lucci while he was incarcerated at Fulton County Jail awaiting trial for murder, the indictment states. According to Complex, Lucci was stabbed at the facility on February 9 — an attack prosecutors claim was perpetrated by YSL associates.
The Grammy Award-winner is also accused of renting 2014 Infiniti Q50 sedan later “used in the commission of the murder” of rival gang member Donovan Thomas, Jr. on Jan. 10, 2015. Roughly two weeks after Thomas’ murder, prosecutors claim Young Thug boasted about the incident in a video posted to social media, stating “so a n—a lie to they momma, lie to they kids, lie to they brothers and sisters then get right into the courtroom and tell the God’s honest truth, don’t get it, y’all n—-s need to get fucking killed bro, from me and YSL.”
Fulton County officials claim Young Thug was in regular communication with Kyle Oree, a leader of the Blood-affiliated Sex Money Murder street gang, stating in one conversation “sacrifices must be made, soldiers must fall in order for battle to be won.” Young Thug’s social media posts were also submitted into evidence, with prosecutors stating a photo of the Atlanta native “wearing red clothing, and flashing a YSL gang hand sign” is “an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.” The document also contains a screenshot of a March 9 photo of Young Thug and Gunna from the latter’s Instagram account captioned “slatt business, YSL4L” — “slime love all the time” and “Young Slime Life for life” — acronyms prosecutors state are commonly used by the YSL syndicate.
Atlanta’s WSB-TV reports Young Thug’s will make his first court appearance Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. Steel told the news network at the time of the arrest that the rapper “committed no crime whatsoever” and that he would “fight to my last drop of blood to clear him.”
Monday’s arrest marks yet another brush with law enforcement for the chart-topping rapper. In July 2015, Young Thug was arrested during a raid on his home and charged with weapons and drug violations after making “terroristic threats” against a mall security guard. That same month, he was named in an indictment charging his former tour manager with shooting at Lil Wayne’s tour buses during an incident in Atlanta in April of that year. Like Monday’s indictment, that filing also centered on Young Thug’s high-level involvement with the YSL organization.
In September 2018, the rapper was booked on felony drug charges stemming from a September 2017 traffic stop. He was later released on bond. Gunna, who was also in the vehicle at the time of the 2017 incident, was charged at the time with a misdemeanor window tint violation and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.
Young Thug is currently in the middle of a lawsuit against his luxury Atlanta apartment’s property management company, claiming the firm is responsible for the loss of a Louis Vuitton handbag containing $40,000 in cash, jewelry and a hard drive containing approximately 200 unreleased songs “worth at least an estimated $1,000,000.”
This story was updated 5/10/22 at 1:44 p.m. with Sheriff Patrick Labat’s statements about the current arrest status of Gunna. This story was updated 5/10/22 at 4:12 p.m. with a statement from Young Thug’s lawyer. This story was updated 5/11/22 at 2:28 p.m. to reflect additional charges following a raid on Young Thug’s home.