Young Stoner Life Records (YSL) hip-hop artist Gunna has again been denied bond in the now-famous case involving the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The 29-year-old artist will likely have to remain in jail until his January 2023 trial date.
Gunna is one of 27 people arrested in a sweeping criminal case against YSL founder Young Thug.
Gunna and Young Thug were arrested on May 9 for alleged gang activity as part of a 52-count RICO indictment.
RICO is a federal law allowing for prosecution and civil penalties for racketeering. It was originally used in the 1970s to prosecute the Mafia and others involved in ongoing organized crime.
At a hearing in Fulton County Superior Court on June 7, Judge Ural Glanville refused to reconsider his earlier decision to deny bond to Gunna (real name Sergio Kitchens) over concerns about witness intimidation. Young Thug was denied bond for similar reasons at a hearing last month.
Glanville cited threats to kill witnesses as one of the reasons behind his decision.
Gunna’s co-lead counsel Steve Sadow told Billboard he and his client were “very disappointed” in the outcome, saying they had produced “substantial evidence” that Gunna deserved to be released.
“The prosecution again produced no evidence at all; instead, it chose to rely on vague and non-specific allegations and speculation through the statements of the prosecutor alone,” Sadow said. “Gunna deserves better from our justice system.”
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At an earlier hearing in May, Judge Glanville refused to release Gunna on bond. The initial bond denial came after prosecutors in the case alleged Thug, and his YSL associates had made “numerous threats to kill or harm witnesses,” per the New York Times. According to a motion filed this week, prosecutors said witnesses claimed they had been intimidated, causing them to “fear not only for their own lives but for their families lives should they testify.”
The indictment that artist and record label owner Young Thug is also founder of Young Slime Life, a criminal street gang that began in Atlanta in 2012 and is affiliated with the national Bloods gang. And that YSL artist Gunna is also a member.
The indictment lists more than 180 acts that support just the first of several separate charges handed down to the various members of the YSL. Among those charges are murder, aggravated assault, firearms violations, theft, drug possession, participating in street gang activity, armed robbery, and carjacking between 2012 and 2020, The New York Times reported.
Photo: Gunna attends the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute benefit gala, May 2, 2022. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)