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Music

Rapper YFN Lucci Among a Dozen Charged in RICO Indictment

ATLANTA — Rapper YFN Lucci is among a dozen people charged in a wide-ranging indictment in Atlanta targeting alleged members of the Bloods gang.

A Fulton County grand jury on Friday handed up the 105-count indictment that resulted from a six-month investigation, Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton said at a news conference Tuesday. It includes racketeering, aggravated assault, murder, gun, armed robbery, property damage, theft and gang-related charges.

"We are serious about the violence in Atlanta," Hampton said. "We are serious about holding people accountable."

The indictment alleges that each of the 12 people charged is associated with sub-groups of the national Bloods gang. It says they had connections and relationships to each other and accuses them of committing a wide variety of crimes to protect and enhance the gang's reputation and to gain and maintain control of territory.

YFN Lucci, whose given name is Rayshawn Bennett, is charged with racketeering, violating the state's anti-gang law, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. 

Atlanta police previously announced murder charges against Bennett in January, saying he was the driver in a December gang-related drive-by shooting that left one man dead. The felony murder charge in last week's indictment is based on that incident.

"He's not guilty of any crime that's referenced in the previous charge and now in this indictment," Bennett's lawyer Drew Findling said in a phone interview.

The indictment says one of the Atlanta gang sub-groups of the Bloods, known by the initials YFN, was "centered around" Bennett.

"The YFN studio located on West Peachtree Street in Atlanta is a central point for the group and a notorious stronghold. YFN has continued to attract additional associates as Bennett gained notoriety," the indictment says. 

"He's absolutely not a gang member, and this indictment — neglectfully or purposely — fails to say that Mr. Bennett is a nationally and internationally recognized musical artist," Findling said. 

Among Bennett's biggest hits is the 2016 song "Key to the Streets" featuring the Atlanta rap group Migos.

The indictment also cites social media postings by Bennett and others, as well as song lyrics, alleging they are proof of gang involvement and other criminal activity.

"To sit and analyze somebody's social media account and to try to somehow find some evidence of a crime is ridiculous when people are just really expressing themselves through social media," Findling said. 

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