Young Thug RICO Case Witness Is Being Threatened, Fulton County DA Says
On Monday night (Aug. 15), local Atlanta new station WSB-TV interviewed Fulton County, Ga. District Attorney Fani Willis and Young Thug's attorney Brian Steel, who both expressed concern after revealing that the identity of a cooperating witness who is a YSL affiliate has been outed on the internet, resulting in them being threatened as well as their family.
"YSL enthusiasts and/or actual gang members are threatening someone they believe is cooperating with the State," Willis told WSB-TV. "And not only that person, but their very small children."
The leak is said to have happened during the process of the defense and prosecution sharing evidence with each other—a procedure known as discovery—to prepare for the upcoming trial, which is scheduled to start in January of 2023. Authorities are currently investigating who is responsible for the breach.
"This is putting people at risk and it's poisoning the jury pool," Steel told WSB-TV. "Please stop immediately. Whomever is placing items of discovery online is not doing anybody a favor. It is totally inappropriate to try to try this case in social media. This will be tried fairly and justly in Fulton County Superior Court."
According to Willis, steps are being taken to ensure the safety of the witness.
"We are going to have to do things to make sure that the witnesses are safe," she added. "We need people to understand that they can cooperate, they can do the right thing, and the State will be here to protect them."
Young Thug, Gunna and 26 other members of YSL were arrested on RICO charges back in May. They are accused of being part a violent street gang headed by Thug, born Jeffrey Williams. The State indicted the group again in August and included nine additional counts, bringing the total to 64. Young Thug received additional charges in the new indictment and faces charges of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, participation in a criminal street gang, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a machine gun and drug possession.
Young Thug remains behind bars after being denied bond on multiple occasions, with the judge labeling him a public threat. Gunna, who was also arrested in the gang indictment, also remains behind bars. The prosecution in the case has previously stated they have proffers from YSL affiliates who are willing to name Young Thug as the head of the organization.
Young Thug's attorney, Brian Steel, has maintained the rapper's innocence. "Mr. Williams has committed no crime whatsoever," he previously told XXL. "I look forward to the commencement of the jury trial."
This is not the first time threats have been made against people in regards to the Young Thug RICO case. In June, a teen was arrested for threatening Fulton County, Ga. Sheriff Pat Labat and his wife if Young Thug was not released from jail.
The YSL RICO trial is set to begin on Jan. 9, 2023.