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Georgia officials have announced sweeping charges against over two dozen people who allegedly targeted the Atlanta-area properties of big-name celebrities, musicians and athletes, as well as others who “show their wealth on social media.”
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Monday announced the 220-count indictment that was filed on August 22 and charged 26 people. The suspects were involved in what Willis described as a violent street gang that broke into the homes of Atlanta Falcons wide-receiver Calvin Ridley, Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan, famed singer Mariah Carey and a Bravo TV reality star named Marlo Hampton, among others, the indictment states.
The suspects also allegedly burglarized the homes of some social media influencers who lived in the area, Willis said. In one of the instances, the gang members took a 16-year-old victim down the stairs “by force,” she went on.
“Sometimes, like in Mariah Carey’s case, the victim is not home,” Willis told reporters during a Monday press conference. “Unfortunately, sometimes they are home and they don’t mind using violence.”
Most of the 220 criminal counts accused the co-defendants – alleged “Drug Rich” gang members – of breaking the state’s racketeering and gang laws, in addition to charges for kidnapping, shootings, carjacking, armed robbery and home invasion.
“What they do is target people who show their wealth on social media,” Willis said. “So, I do have a message for the public: Where it is kind of fun to put your things on social media and show off, unfortunately these gangs are becoming more savvy, more sophisticated in the way that they target you.”
She went on to address the alleged gang members, telling them: “If you thought Fulton was a good county to bring your crime to, to bring your violence to, you are wrong and you are going suffer consequences and today is the start of some of those consequences.”
The Atlanta-area official added that she does not plan to take it easy on the offenders.
“I am not going to negotiate with gang members. I am not going to allow pleas,” Willis said. “We are going to find you, we are going to convict you and we’re going to send you to the prison for the rest of your days, and I’m not apologizing for that.”