On May 9, Young Thug was arrested at his Atlanta home after being named in a sweeping 56-count gang indictment. According to the indictment, the rapper and 27 others, including Gunna, allegedly conspired to violate Georgia’s criminal racketeering law. The government claims that YSL, Young Thug’s rap collective and label also known as Young Stoner Life, is a criminal gang linked to the national organization Bloods.
Specifically, the 28 people named in the indictment are charged with conspiracy to violate the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. That’s Georgia’s version of the federal law originally designed to combat organized crime. Under this complicated statute, prosecutors must prove that defendants committed at least two specific crimes within a 10-year period that were part of an organized crime scheme. If convicted, the penalties for RICO include up to 20 years in prison, a monetary fine, or both.
Young Thug is also charged with participating in a criminal street gang, a state violation that also carries a possible prison sentence of up to 20 years. Gunna is charged only under RICO. Charges against other people named in the indictment include murder, attempted murder, robbery, assault, carjacking and larceny, along with possession of drugs and firearms.
As for Young Thug, prosecutors say he co-founded YSL as a “criminal street gang” in 2012. According to the 88-page indictment, Young Thug committed more than 30 crimes under RICO from 2013 to 2021, including robbery, terrorist threats, and possession of drugs with intent to distribute. Some of Young Thug’s alleged crimes, according to the indictment, include lyrics to various songs and various social media photos over the years of him “displaying a YSL gang hand sign.”
Some of the most serious charges in the indictment involve the January 2015 death of Donovan Thomas, Jr., who was shot at an Atlanta barbershop in an alleged drive-by shooting, according to a local news report at the time. Five of Young Thug’s alleged YSL associates, including another YSL rapper, Yak Gotti, whose real name is Deamonte Kendrick, are now charged with Thomas’ murder. Yak Gotti and the other four people are also charged with the attempted murder of two other people.
Three days before the alleged murder, the indictment alleges, Young Thug rented a silver Infiniti sedan that was used in the murder. The indictment alleges that Thomas was a member of a rival gang. A little over two weeks after Thomas’ death, Young Thug and a different suspected gang leader allegedly engaged in a conversation in which one of them said that “sacrifices must be made, soldiers must fall in order to win the battle.” “. The next day, Young Thug allegedly said in a video posted on social media, “So a fucking lie to your mom, lie to your kids, lie to your brothers and sisters, then go straight to the courtroom and tell that to your mom.” God honestly. truthfully don’t get it you n*****need to be killed bro by me and YSL,” in what prosecutors argue was another RICO crime.