Judge denies rapper YSL Young Thug bail for RICO

Judge denies rapper YSL Young Thug bail for RICO

A Fulton County judge had denied Young Thug bail after raising concerns about threats he may have made. The decision fell in the early evening after hours of testimony.

The 30-year-old rapper, whose legal name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, watched the proceedings remotely from Cobb County Jail as the decision was released shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday.


Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville said he took several things into consideration. This includes a threat presented in court attributed to Williams from 2015 which states that “Anyone who walks into the courtroom and speaks the honest truth of the god, they will be f—killed.” The judge said the validity of this threat would have to be proven in court, but this indicates that he could be a danger to the community.

“The two things the court is most concerned about are that he poses a danger to the community and that he is running away,” Judge Glanville said in his decision.

Earlier in the day, defense attorney Brian Steel proposed an unprecedented house arrest program he said would involve 24 off-duty armed police officers, who would work around the clock and be paid $60 a day. hour in one of Williams’ four homes in metro Atlanta.

A criminal defense investigator testified that the unprecedented security operation would cost more than $1 million a year, but prosecutors argued that the defendants should not be able to pay for their release from prison. They said Williams is a violent gang leader who poses a huge threat to the community.

“He will be subject to a full search which may include K-9 drug dogs, we will do whatever it takes to satisfy your honor,” criminal defense investigator Charles Mittelstadt said. “And we’re going to seek that out and bless that environment and from that point on, law enforcement will be in place and nothing will come in and out of there.”

“We have had offers from other members of Mr. Williams’ gang. Some are on this indictment, some are not. They have consistently stated that Mr. Williams is dangerous, they are afraid of him, that if they meet him, he will kill them and their families.”

Williams was arrested in Buckhead on a sweeping gang indictment that also named 27 other people, including fellow Atlanta rapper Gunna. Fulton County prosecutors allege those named in the indictment are members of the Young Slime Life (YSL) gang, which has engaged in criminal activity in the city since 2012.

In the 88-page indictment, prosecutors allege that Williams is a co-founder of YSL. The indictment also gives a detailed account of various crimes alleged YSL members are charged with, and documents Williams’ social media posts and rap lyrics that reference YSL.


Jeffery Lamar Williams, who goes by the name Young Thug, was arrested on May 9, 2022.

Jeffery Lamar Williams, who goes by the name Young Thug, was arrested on May 9, 2022. (Fulton County Sheriff’s Office)

Since his arrest, Steele has alleged that his client “lived in total isolation as if he were a forgotten person alone in the world”.

In his emergency motion, Steele said Williams was placed in “solitary confinement”, relegated to a “windowless cement compartment with only a bed, a toilet and an overhead light that stays on 24 hours a day”. He states that the rapper has no access to any type of media and “no opportunity to exercise, shower, or have human contact.”

If convicted of a RICO charge, Williams could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


Atlanta rapper Gunna, also accused of violating RICO law, was denied bail in May. A judge has set his court date for January 2023.

What is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act?

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, was developed to combat organized crime. It was signed into law in 1970 after being signed into law by President Richard Nixon.

At the federal level, RICO was originally intended to be used to fight the Mafia. It is based on a list of 27 federal crimes and eight state crimes committed repeatedly over a 10-year period. These crimes may include fraud, theft, computer crimes, embezzlement, credit scams, investment schemes, human trafficking, illegal gambling, bribery, kidnapping, murder, money laundering, forgery and various drug charges.

The Department of Justice used RICO to dismantle several crime families and root out corruption in several city police departments. Prosecutors have also used RICO to try to dismantle several street gangs and have helped prosecute companies that violate federal law.

Georgia’s RICO statutes are similar to the federal version, but are much broader in that the criminal “enterprise” does not have to exist as long. Georgia is one of 33 states to have its own RICO statutes. However, in state and federal laws, a criminal enterprise model must be established.

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