Young Thug, embroiled in RICO case, accused of ‘hand-to-hand drug exchange’ in court

A male rapper in a pink puffer jacket and hot pink pants holds a microphone down at one hip on stage
Young Thug performs on Day 4 of the Lollapalooza Music Festival in Chicago in 2021.
(Amy Harris / Invision / Associated Press)

Atlanta rapper Young Thug may be facing even more legal trouble as he undergoes the proceedings for his RICO case.

The “Bubbly” artist, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, allegedly participated in a courtroom drug deal with Kahlieff Adams, a co-defendant in the gang and racketeering case against several people associated with Williams’ Young Slime Life crew.

According to legal documents reviewed Friday by The Times, the “hand-to-hand drug exchange” happened during a Wednesday hearing at a Fulton County, Ga., courtroom.

Adams allegedly stood up from his chair and “walked unattended” to Young Thug. Surveillance video captured Adams giving an “item of contraband” to the 31-year-old rapper, who allegedly hid his hand underneath the table where he sat next to his attorney.

As a result of the alleged “illegal acts of possession and distribution,” Wednesday’s hearing was delayed.


Williams’ attorney Keith Adams, who is not related to Kahlieff Adams, denied the claims. Keith Adams told The Times on Friday that the rapper “barely knows” the co-defendant and said Williams “wasn’t aware” that he would get Percocet from Kahlieff Adams. He said the rapper immediately turned over the object to authorities.

Gunna, the rapper who was arrested in Atlanta in May as part of a RICO case against the Young Slime Life gang, was released from jail Wednesday.

Dec. 14, 2022

Keith Adams said he does not “anticipate any charges” stemming from the Wednesday incident.

“The reality is Mr. Williams is fighting for his life at this point in regards to this very serious racketeering case,” he told The Times. “The last thing we’re interested in doing is engaging in any other sort of behavior that would be problematic for us, especially in a courtroom.”

The documents, filed Thursday, say law enforcement in the courtroom approached Williams and demanded he give up what Adams handed him. They determined the object was Percocet, also known as oxycodone.

Officials then searched Adams, who initially resisted to being searched, and allegedly found “Percocet, marijuana, tobacco, and other contraband, wrapped in plastic.”

A representative for Kahlieff Adams did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment Friday.

Prosecutors allege that Young Thug’s violent boasts in song help prove his participation in criminal activity. His attorney calls the charges ‘baseless.’

May 10, 2022

A 56-count grand jury indictment in May identified Young Thug, rapper Gunna (real name Sergio Kitchens) and 26 others as members of YSL, a criminal street gang. Some of the defendants were charged with violent crimes such as murder and attempted armed robbery. Authorities have said Williams and Kitchens are leaders in the gang, but their attorneys have contested the charges for months.

The indictment also alleged that Young Thug, 31, was a founder of the YSL gang and said he was linked to offenses in 2013 and 2018. He remains in jail, pending a verdict in the trial.

In December, a grand jury charged the rapper with four additional counts related to a May 2021 incident where he allegedly drove 120 miles per hour on an Atlanta freeway, FOX5 Atlanta reported.


Rap star Young Thug is at the center of a case brought by Georgia prosecutors that alleges that his rap crew, YSL, is actually a violent criminal gang.

May 11, 2022

Meanwhile, Gunna was released from custody in mid-December after entering a negotiated plea deal on a racketeering conspiracy charge. He entered an Alford plea, which allows a person to plead guilty — while still maintaining innocence — if it’s believed the prosecution’s evidence would likely result in a guilty verdict at trial.

He received a sentence of five years with four years suspended and the remaining year satisfied by time served. He will also have to do 500 hours of community service. He released a statement making it clear that he had not cooperated with or given any statements to law enforcement.

Times staff writer Christie D’Zurilla contributed to this report.