A prosecutor on Monday announced a wide-ranging indictment against members of what she believes is a violent street gang that has targeted the homes of famous Atlanta athletes — including Falcons recipient Calvin Ridley — entertainers and others who show off expensive belongings on social media. media. media.
Ridley, singer Mariah Carey, Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Marlo Hampton of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” all had their homes broken into, the indictment said.
The 220-count indictment was filed on Aug. 22 and charges 26 people, most of whom are accused of violating Georgia’s anti-gang and extortion laws.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said the crimes cited in the indictment — carjacking, kidnapping, armed robbery, shootings, home invasions — were committed by members of the Drug Rich gang, who she said surfaced in 2016 in a neighboring county. In addition to being targeted by celebrities, social media influencers were also victims of home invasions and burglaries, Willis said.
“What they do is target people who show their wealth on social media,” she said. “So I have a message for the public: where it’s pretty fun putting your stuff on social media and showing off, unfortunately these gangs are getting smarter and more sophisticated in the way they attack you.”
Willis also had a message for the alleged gang members: “If you thought Fulton was a good county to bring your crime to, to bring your violence to, then you are wrong and you will face consequences and today is beginning of some of those consequences.”
Ridley’s Instagram account features multiple images where he appears to be wearing expensive jewelry. The former second-team All-Pro is currently serving an indefinite suspension and will miss at least the entire 2022 season for betting on last season’s NFL games.
Willis said the charges, filed last week, represented a collaboration between law enforcement agencies. Tackling gangs is a priority for Willis, and she said she plans to impose harsh sentences on people involved in violent gang activity.
“I’m not going to negotiate with gang members. I’m not going to allow pleas,” she said. “We’re going to find you, we’re going to sentence you, and we’re going to send you to jail for the rest of your days, and I don’t apologize for that.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.