Fulton County, Ga. – Young Thug’s attorney says he is being held in “dungeon-like conditions” and deserves bail or more humane treatment while he fights his “ruthless and unconstitutional” RICO charge.
In a new emergency motion filed Friday in Fulton County Superior Court and obtained by FOX 5, attorney Brian Steel says the Atlanta rapper was placed in “solitary confinement,” in a “windowless cement compartment with only one bed and one toilet and an overhead light that stays on 24 hours a day.” He says the rapper has no access to media and “no opportunity to exercise, shower, or have human contact.”
The 30-year-old, whose real name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, was arrested Monday in Buckhead as part of a broader indictment against a gang that also named 27 others, including Atlanta rapper Gunna. Fulton County prosecutors allege that those named in the indictment are members of the Young Slime Life (YSL) gang, which has been involved in criminal activity in the city since 2012.
Jeffery Lamar Williams, who goes by the stage name Young Thug, was arrested on May 9, 2022. (Fulton County Sheriff’s Office)
FORMER PROSECUTOR IS GROWING IN THE RICO CASE AGAINST YOUNG THUG GUNNA AND OTHERS
Williams’ attorney says the rapper has “lived in complete isolation, like he’s a forgotten person alone in the world” since his arrest.
In the 88-page indictment, prosecutors allege Williams is a co-founder of YSL. The indictment also gives a detailed account of various crimes allegedly committed by YSL members and documents YSL-related social media posts and rap lyrics by Williams.
RICO ACT FEES OF YOUNG BATTER EXPLAINED
In his Friday filing, Steel says the rapper “lawfully exercised his freedom of speech and expression in his profession as a musical artist” in his recordings.
“Arming those words by accusing flag acts in support of an alleged conspiracy is unconscionable and unconstitutional under the rights of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution,” the motion states.
Williams’ attorney filed a request for bail on Tuesday, but has not yet received an appointment.
“The failure to schedule a bail hearing for this innocent man, coupled with the inhuman and unconstitutional treatment of Mr. Williams, requires bail from this honorable court to be granted until a hearing can be held,” his attorney said.
Rapper Gunna, née Sergio Kitchens (Fulton County Jail).
“The Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Vedas and all similar texts of mankind, as well as any person with a consciousness would understand that a person (in this case Mr. Williams) is housed in these conditions in America’s original colony if he has no criminal record, denies any allegation of wrongdoing, has never been more than cooperative, lawful and peaceful with authorities and is presumed innocent, wrong, unlawful and unconscionable.
If convicted on any of the RICO charges, Williams faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
READ THE FULL LIST OF PEOPLE SPECIFIED AND FEES
What is the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act?
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) was created to combat organized crime. It was enacted in 1970 after being signed into law by President Richard Nixon.
RICO was originally intended to be used nationwide to fight the Mafia. It is based on a list of 27 federal crimes and eight state crimes that have been repeatedly committed over the course of 10 years. These offenses may include fraud, theft, computer crime, embezzlement, credit fraud, investment schemes, human trafficking, illegal gambling, bribery, kidnapping, murder, money laundering, counterfeiting and various drug related offenses.
The Justice Department has used RICO to dismantle several crime families and root out corruption in several city police departments. Prosecutors have also used RICO to try to take down several street gangs and helped prosecute companies that violate federal laws.
The Georgian RICO statutes are similar to the federal version, but are much more comprehensive since the criminal “enterprise” does not have to exist as long. Georgia is one of only 33 states that has its own RICO statutes. However, both state and federal laws must establish a pattern of criminal enterprise.