FULTON COUNTY, Ga. – Young Thug’s attorney said he was being held in “dungeon conditions” and deserved bail or more humane treatment while fighting his “inadmissible and unconstitutional” RICO indictment.
In a new emergency motion filed Friday in Fulton County Superior Court and obtained by FOX 5, attorney Brian Steel claims the Atlanta rapper has been placed in “solitary confinement”, relegated to a “compartment in windowless cement with only a bed and 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.”
The 30-year-old, whose legal name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, was arrested in Buckhead on Monday in a sweeping gang arraignment 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.
Rapper Gunna, born Sergio Kitchens (Fulton County Jail).
FORMER PROSECUTOR WEIGHS IN ON RICO CASE AGAINST YOUNG THUG, GUNNA, OTHERS
Since his arrest, Williams’ attorney has said the rapper “has been living in total isolation like he’s a forgotten person alone in the world.”
In the 88-page indictment, prosecutors allege 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.
YOUNG THUG’S RICO ACT CHARGES EXPLAINED
In Friday’s petition, Steel claims the rapper was “lawfully exercising his freedom of speech and expression in his profession as a musical artist” in his recordings.
“Armoring these words with accusing overt acts of supporting a supposed conspiracy is impermissible and unconstitutional pursuant to First and Fourteenth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution,” the motion reads.
Williams’ attorney filed a bond petition on Tuesday, but has not yet received a date.
“The failure to schedule a bail hearing for this innocent man, coupled with the inhuman and unconstitutional treatment of Mr. Williams, compels this Honorable Court to grant bail until a hearing can take place,” his attorney said. .
“The Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Vedas and all similar texts of mankind as well as any conscious person would understand that to house a human being (in this case, Mr. Williams) under these conditions in America, in a colony of origin, while he has no criminal history, denies any allegations of wrongdoing, has only ever been cooperative, legal and peaceful with the authorities, and is presumed innocent, is evil, illegal and unconscionable. »
If convicted of a RICO charge, Williams could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Jeffery Lamar Williams, who goes by the name Young Thug, was arrested on May 9, 2022. (Fulton County Sheriff’s Office)
READ THE FULL LIST OF UNKNOWN PERSONS AND CHARGES
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 law, a criminal enterprise model must be established.