A US prosecutor has announced sweeping charges against members of what she says are a violent street gang that target the homes of famous athletes, entertainers and others in the Atlanta area who flaunt expensive possessions on social media.
Singer Mariah Carey, Marlo Hampton of The Real Housewives Of Atlanta, Atlanta United’s Brad Guzan and Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons all had their homes broken into, the indictment said.
The 220-count indictment was filed Aug. 22 and charges 26 people, most of whom are accused of violating Georgia’s anti-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, who she says emerged in a neighboring county in 2016 .
They target people who show off their wealth on social mediaFani Willis, Fulton County District Attorney
In addition to the celebrity targets, social media influencers have also been harassed in home invasions and burglaries, Ms Willis said.
“They target people who show off their wealth on social media,” she said.
“So I have a message for the public: while it’s kind of fun to show off and show off your stuff on social media, unfortunately these gangs are getting more and more sophisticated in the way they target you.”
But Ms Willis also had a message for the alleged gang members, saying: “If you thought Fulton was a good county to take your crime to bring your violence, you are wrong and you will face consequences, and today is that the fall beginning of some of those consequences.”
Ms Willis said the indictment filed last week represents a collaboration between different law enforcement agencies working together.
Crackdowns on gangs are a priority for Ms Willis, and she said she intends to impose tough penalties on people involved in violent gang activity.
“I will not negotiate with gang members. I won’t take any 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 days, and I don’t apologize for that.”
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/gang-targeted-homes-of-celebrities-and-influencers-41946934.html Gang ‘targeted homes of celebrities and influencers’