Thug – real name Jeffery Lamar Williams – was arrested on Monday (May 9) as part of an indictment centering around his YSL label and imprint. Authorities allege YSL – also known as Young Stoner Life – is a “criminal street gang” that Williams is alleged to have co-founded in Atlanta in 2012.
At the time of his arrest, the rapper was charged on two counts: participating in criminal street gang activity, and conspiracy to violate Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations (RICO) Act. Williams’ lawyer, Brian Steel, claimed his client had “committed no violation of law whatsoever” and that his team “will fight this case ethically, legally and zealously”.
Now, Williams has been charged with seven more felonies separate of the RICO indictment. According to WSB-TV reporter Michael Seiden, the additional charges came after police raided the rapper’s home in Buckhead, Atlanta.
Two of the charges are drug-related: possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a Schedule III, IV or V controlled substance with intent to distribute. There are also two weapons charges: possession of a firearm during commission of a felony and possession of sawed-off shotgun, sawed-off rile, machine gun, dangerous weapon or silencer.
Williams has also been charged with three counts of being a person employed or associated with a criminal street gang to conduct or participate in criminal gang activity through the commission of a crime.
In a court hearing on Wednesday (May 11), Williams’ lawyer Steel maintained his innocence, saying he does not agree the rapper is “responsible for any type of crime”, reported Atlanta news outlet 11Alive. Williams was denied bond at that hearing.
NME has reached out to Steel’s firm for comment and more information.
Williams was one of 28 defendants included in the grand jury indictment earlier this week, with rapper Gunna also charged with conspiring to violate the RICO Act. Both rappers’ co-defendants face other charges in addition to alleged conspiracy to violate RICO, including murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery, weapons and drug charges.
Both Young Thug and Gunna are also being accused of “acts in furtherance of the conspiracy”, relating to song lyrics and social media posts the rappers made, with lines from songs including their collaboration ‘Slatty’ or Young Thug and Juice WRLD‘s ‘Bad Boy’ among them.
Lawyers for Gunna said on Wednesday that he is “innocent”, claiming that the indictment “falsely portrays his music as part of criminal conspiracy”.