ATLANTA – Rayshawn Bennett, better known as musical artist YFN Lucci, is among a dozen suspects charged in a 75-page, 105-count indictment focused on factions within the Bloods street gang.
“This accusation is unprecedented. Period, ”said Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis Channel 2 investigation reporter Mark Winne in an exclusive interview.
“There has been a huge increase in violent crime,” Willis said. “I pledged to bring the best and brightest minds here, many of whom see you sitting here right now, so we could tackle this issue of this violent crime.”
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Joining Willis when she met with Winne were key members of her staff, including newly hired Mike Carlson, one of the state’s best-known gang law experts, RICO expert John Floyd and leading gang unit prosecutor Cara Convery, as well as top law enforcement officials.
“The first thing we had to do was recognize that there is an absolute gang problem in this county and that we would take a strong stance against it,” Willis said.
Willis said she and her team used a YouTube music video titled “Shine On” to shed light on the alleged bottom-line associations of the two artists, YFN Lucci and Bloody Jay, both of whom are mentioned in the indictment. The indictment states that the video contains texts that promote criminal gang activity.
Convery says investigators also used social media posts to help build their gang case.
“It is a way to show who you are and who you are bound to and what you are willing to do to maintain that position of power,” she said.
Lucci’s lawyer, Drew Findling, told Winne that his client is not guilty of all charges.
“He is not a gang member. What he is is an internationally acclaimed musical artist who is a triple platinum winner who has performed all over the United States and around the world, ”said Findling. “His first right to change to musical expression is no different than the famous rock song ‘I Shot the Sheriff’. It is not criminal activity. ”
Bloody Jay, whose real name is Justin Ushery, told Winne per. Phone that he is not involved in a gang or committing crimes and said, “I make music.”
The indictment suggests that Lucci is an employee of Bloods, and the allegations against him include manipulating evidence of a murder by hiding a crime scene and a vehicle by hiding it, attacking someone by strangulation and encouraging that person to hit and kick in order to play rival. band music.
Lucci is already facing a charge of murder in connection with a man’s shooting death in December.
Willis says the charges against Lucci and some others in the RICO case involve the murder that Lucci has already been released on.
“We think it’s part of a bigger picture,” Willis said.
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Atlanta police chief Jason Smith says the investigation lasted more than six months and involved the DA’s office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Atlanta Police Department and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.
“I think it sends a significant message, a deep message, regardless of your status, that the city of Atlanta and Fulton County in partnership will come after you if you violate the crimes in our county, in our city,” the Atlanta police chief said. . Rodney Bryant.
“Of the national gang, the criminal street gang the bloods, there are at least four subgroups involved in this indictment and investigation,” said GBI Gang Task Force Special Agent in Charge Ken Howard.
“Some people do not understand the depth to which the gangs have infiltrated, for lack of a better word, our community and it’s time for them to go,” Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat said.
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