Authorities in Georgia have brought felony charges against an 18-year-old man who allegedly threatened to kill the Fulton County Sheriff for the arrest of popular rapper Young Thug as well as the arrests of several other members of his Young Slime Life (YSL) group, New York Post reported.
Young Thug and fellow rapper Gunna made the headlines after they were arrested alongside 26 other associates for alleged racketeering. The accused teen, identified as Quartavius Mender, is said to have sent threatening messages on Instagram after the aforementioned arrests.
Authorities said Mender threatened to kill Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat, his wife, and Atlanta Public Schools Police Chief Ronald Applin if one of the suspects named in the case wasn’t released.
“We take these kinds of brazen threats seriously,” Sheriff Labat said. “Social media cyberbullying, and hiding behind a keyboard will not protect someone from criminal prosecution. Our investigators are diligent in seeking individuals who mean to do harm to anybody, and I am grateful to them for ensuring the safety of myself, my wife, and all citizens of Fulton County.”
Mender, who was arrested on May 26, has been charged with 23 counts of felony terroristic threats. But in an interview with WSB-TV, Mender’s mother, Malaika Kulenga, said her son’s actions may have been triggered by his mental health issues. She said her son was diagnosed with the illness when he was 12.
“My son is dealing with mental health and also he’s grieving, you know? His brother was killed in September from a hit-and-run,” Kulenga said, adding that her son has no affiliation with YSL or any other gang. Kulenga, however, said one of Mender’s cousins was among the suspects named in the YSL indictment.
“My son is not a gang member. He has no affiliation with any type of gang,” she said.
Authorities said Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, allegedly conspired to violate Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The 30-year-old is also accused of participating in a criminal street gang.
The Go Crazy rapper has since been denied bond. Fulton County Judge Ural Glanville said his decision to have Young Thug remain in custody was because of concerns about the rapper being a danger to the community if he was released, New York Post reported.
Prosecutors claim the YSL group is responsible for murders, shootings, and carjackings.