Young Thug Denied Bond in RICO Case Based on Text Messages Showing Witness Intimidation

Young Thug RICO case
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Young Thug RICO case
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Photo Credit: HOTSPOTATL / CC by 3.0

Young Thug has been denied bond for the fourth time, based on text messages showing witness intimidation, as he awaits trial on gang-related charges in a sweeping RICO indictment.

Rapper Young Thug was denied bond on Friday during a hearing in Atlanta as he awaits trial on gang-related charges in Fulton County, Georgia. This is the fourth time he has been denied bond in the case stemming from a sweeping RICO indictment.

During the Friday hearing, the rapper’s attorney Brian Steel argued that his client is not a flight risk and that he had been dealing with health issues since his May 9 arrest last year. Young Thug, legal name Jeffery Williams, was taken to the hospital during a court hearing in May, though his attorney declined to comment on his condition when asked by reporters.

Judge Ural Glanville has stated his belief that the rapper’s release would pose a threat to the community and Williams’ alleged history of witness intimidation.

“Mr. Williams is not a risk to commit a crime, and he’s not a risk to flee the jurisdiction, and that’s what bond is about,” Steel told ABC News in a phone interview after filing the fourth motion for bond on April 24.

In the recent motion, Steel claimed that his client gets limited exercise or exposure to sunlight, has been unable to eat nutritious food, and has been sleep deprived due to being required to wake up at 3:00 or 4:00 AM on the days he is to appear in court and is “fighting to pay attention to the goings on in his case.” Steel told reporters that these conditions have hindered his client’s ability to prepare for his trial. 

The Grammy-winning rapper was denied bond three times last year following his arrest in May 2022 and charged with eight counts of conspiring to violate Georgia’s state Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, participating in criminal street gang activity, violating the state’s controlled substances act, possession of a firearm while committing a felony, and possession of a machine gun.

“This indictment is significant because it targets 28 people who decided to become involved in a criminal street gang and really do havoc in our community,” said Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in a May 2022 press conference announcing the mass indictment. “That havoc includes crimes of violence, crimes of theft, crimes involving drugs.”

Young Thug pleaded not guilty on all eight counts and is set to face trial with nine other co-defendants.