Gunna today pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act, reports from Atlanta-based Channel 2 Action News and Pitchfork can confirm this. The rapper accepted an Alford plea, meaning he pleaded guilty to one charge while pleading his innocence to the same charge as a form of self-preservation.
Gunna was sentenced to five years in prison, but it was commuted to time served; the remainder of the sentence was also suspended on probation, so that it is likely that he will be released from prison on time. As part of the deal, the rapper will do 500 hours of community service.
In a statement by Gunna’s attorney Steve Sadow to Pitchfork, the musician said:
When I joined YSL in 2016, I didn’t consider it a “gang”; more like a group of people from Metro Atlanta who shared common interests and artistic ambitions.
My focus at YSL was entertainment – rap artists who wrote and performed music that exaggerated and “glorified” urban life in the black community.
While I have agreed to be honest at all times, I want to be absolutely clear that I have made NO statements, have NOT been questioned, have NOT cooperated, have NOT agreed to testify or witness for or against any party in the case, and absolutely have NO intention to be involved in the court process in any way.
I have chosen to end my own RICO case with an Alford plea and end my personal ordeal by publicly acknowledging my connection to YSL. An Alford plea in my case is the entry of a guilty plea to the one charge against me, which is in my best interests while maintaining my innocence of the same charge. I love and cherish my connection to YSL music and always will. I see this as an opportunity to give back to my community and to educate young men and women that ‘gangs’ and violence only lead to destruction.
Gunna was arrested in May along with Young Thug and other members of the label and imprints Young Stoner Life (YSL). The arrests were the result of an indictment alleging the rappers and others of conspiring to violate RICO law.
Young Thug remains incarcerated while awaiting trial. Under the Atlanta Journal constitution, jury selection in this case is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, January 4, 2023.
What Young Thug and Gunna’s charges mean for rap music in court