Rapper Young Thug hit with additional felony charges in RICO indictment

The Atlanta rapper was arrested in May on gang-related charges.

August 12, 2022, 4:09 PM

Young Thug is facing additional gang-related charges in connection to a sweeping grand jury indictment in Fulton County, Georgia, that led to the arrest of the Atlanta rapper in May on gang-related charges.

The Grammy-winning rapper, whose legal name is Jeffrey Lamar Williams, was initially charged with two counts but was reindicted this month on six additional charges, according to charging documents obtained by ABC News from the Fulton County District Attorney's office.

In addition to the two original counts of conspiring to violate the state's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and participating in criminal street gang activity, the hip-hop star is now facing an additional charge of participating in street gang activity, three counts of violating the Georgia controlled substances act, possession of a firearm while committing a felony and possession of a machine gun.

According to ABC affiliate in Atlanta, WSBT-TV, the district attorney's office said that the additional charges against Williams and four others named in the indictment stem from arrests on March 17 and May 9, including a search of Williams' home in Buckhead, a residential area of Atlanta, the night of his arrest on May 9.

PHOTO: In this Nov. 17, 2021, file photo, rapper Young Thug performs at halftime during the Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks game, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
In this Nov. 17, 2021, file photo, rapper Young Thug performs at halftime during the Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks game, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
Paras Griffin/Getty Images, FILE

Brian Steel, the rapper's attorney, told ABC News on Friday that the additional charges are not new but they have now been wrapped into the RICO indictment.

"As far as this re-indictment, Mr. Williams has committed no crime whatsoever. I look forward to the commencement of the jury trial," Steel told ABC News.

The rapper was among 28 people named in the indictment allegedly associated with the Atlanta-based Young Slime Life (YSL) gang, which authorities say Williams founded in 2012.

YSL is also the name of his record imprint, Young Stoner Life, which was announced in 2016 by Young Thug and is an imprint of 300 Entertainment.

"Mr. Williams has committed no violation of law, whatsoever. We will fight this case ethically, legally and zealously. Mr. Williams will be cleared," Steel told ABC News in May.

A number of those charged are associated with the YSL record label, including Grammy-nominated rapper Gunna, whose legal name is Sergio Kitchens. The imprint is not named in the indictment.

Kitchens, who was arrested in May and denied bond, is charged with one count of conspiring to violate the RICO Act.

"Mr. Sergio Kitchens, known as Gunna, is innocent. The indictment falsely portrays his music as part of criminal conspiracy," the rapper's attorneys, Steve Sadow and Don Samuel, previously told ABC News.

The indictment, which includes references to lyrics among alleged evidence, spotlighted the controversial use of rap lyrics by prosecutors in court and sparked a conversation about freedom of expression in hip-hop.

Young Thug and Gunna were both denied bond and their trials are set for January 2023.