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Where Gunna stands in the Atlanta RICO case that includes Young Thug

He was denied bond on jurisdictional grounds on Wednesday.

ATLANTA — Gunna, the popular rapper and community figure on Atlanta's Southside, is among those who have been included in a sweeping indictment targeting the Young Slime Life gang.

The case has gained significant notoriety after a RICO indictment was issued this week by the Fulton County District Attorney's Office, in particular for its inclusion of Gunna and the rap star Young Thug.

While the indictment paints Young Thug as a founder of the YSL gang and a significant operational leader, the allegations against Gunna appear to be far less serious.

RELATED: Young Thug faces 7 new felony charges outside RICO case, denied bond | New details in hearing

Credit: Court video

Nonetheless, he was denied bond in an appearance Wednesday in Fulton County court. Here's what you need to know about his case:

Gunna bond hearing and charges in RICO case

  • Gunna was denied bond Wednesday: It was not on the substance of his case, however. The Magistrate Court judge agreed with prosecutors that in this instance, because the case has already been indicted, only the Superior Court judge to whom the RICO case has been assigned has authority to decide on bond. Otherwise, he said, he said, "absolutely I would consider bond" on the merits of the case, "but I don't have the authority to do it today." 
  • That means Gunna could remain in jail for several weeks: There is no date yet set for a bond hearing in the RICO case, either for Gunna or any of the other 25-plus defendants. Because of the huge size of the case, Gunna's attorney was worried it could be as late as into July before a hearing.
  • Gunna's attorney is hoping to still have the Magistrate Court judge hear bond at a sooner date: He said he would ask the Superior Court judge to authorize the Magistrate Court to hear the bond matter. The Magistrate Court judge indicated he would do so if he's authorized by the higher court judge.
  • Gunna's charges are not as extensive as Young Thug's: He officially only faces one count of conspiracy to violate RICO - essentially, being a member of the gang. The sprawling 88-page indictment only mentions Gunna - legal name Sergio Kitchens - a few times, most of them using his social media posts or song lyrics as evidence of gang membership.
  • His more concrete allegations include: Theft by receiving stolen property (a gun), possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of hydrocodone with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. These are alleged to be acts "of racketeering activity ... and an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy" and qualify him for the felony offense "participation in criminal street gang activity."
  • One other allegation: He is alleged to have been involved in a traffic stop incident with Young Thug in 2018, in which two cars were stopped and four individuals in one of the cars were "armed with numerous weapons with high capacity magazines to include an AK-47 with a 30-round magazine."
  • His lawyer argued he is a clear case for bond: The attorney framed the charges against Gunna as minimal and said he was cooperative with authorities, had voluntarily turned himself in and was not a flight risk - "born and raised in Georgia, been here this whole time, his mother is sitting across the table from here here in this office, no felony convictions of any kind."
  • The judge seemed sympathetic but deferred to jurisdictional procedures: He said the court is "sensitive to any defendant in jail without bond but I must also follow (judicial orders) as well as the laws and constitution of our state."