Atlanta prosecutor: gang targeted celebrities and influencers
ATLANTA (AP) — A prosecutor announced a sprawling indictment Monday targeting members of what she called a violent street gang that targets the Atlanta-area homes of famous athletes, entertainers and other people flaunting expensive goods on social media.
Singer Mariah Carey, Marlo Hampton of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”, Atlanta United player Brad Guzan and Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons all had their homes broken into, the indictment says. The 220-count indictment was filed on August 22 and charges 26 people, most of whom are charged with violating Georgia’s gang and racketeering laws.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said the crimes alleged in the indictment — carjacking, kidnapping, armed robbery, shootings, home invasions — were committed by members of the Drug Rich gang, which she says began to emerge in 2016 in a nearby county. In addition to celebrity targets, social media influencers have also been victims of home invasions and burglaries, Willis said.
“What they do is target people who show off their wealth on social media,” she said. “So I have a message for the public: where it’s kind of fun to put your stuff on social media and show off, unfortunately these gangs are getting more and more savvy, more sophisticated in how they target you. .”
But Willis also had a message for suspected gang members: ‘If you thought Fulton was a good county to bring your crime, to bring your violence, you’re wrong and you’re going to face consequences and today is the start of some of these consequences.
Willis said the indictment, filed last week, represented a collaboration between different law enforcement agencies working together. Gang suppression is a priority for Willis, and she said she intends to impose tough penalties on those involved in violent gang activity.
“I will not negotiate with gang members. I’m not going to allow pleas,’ she said. “We’re going to find you, we’re going to convict you, and we’re going to send you to jail for the rest of your life, and I don’t apologize for that.”