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Gunna released from prison after pleading guilty to RICO charge in YSL case

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Rapper Gunna was released from jail Wednesday after pleading guilty to a racketeering charge, though he maintains his innocence, according to his lawyer.

The artist, whose legal name is Sergio Kitchens, had been jailed in Fulton County, Ga., since May, when he was charged with conspiracy to violate the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a law intended to combat organized crime. Kitchens and fellow Atlanta rapper Young Thug — whose legal name is Jeffery Lamar Williams — were among 28 defendants named in the May indictment, which alleged that associates of their Young Stoner Life record label were part of a Bloods-affiliated gang called Young Slime Life, or YSL.

Steve Sadow, Kitchens’s attorney, confirmed to The Washington Post that Kitchens on Wednesday entered an Alford plea, in which a defendant pleads guilty while maintaining innocence. Kitchens was sentenced to five years in prison, with credit for the time he had already served and the remainder suspended, Sadow said.

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In announcing the indictment in May, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told reporters that many defendants in the case could be sentenced to life in prison, saying “it is my opinion that violence in our community deserves maximum penalties.”

Had his case gone to trial, Kitchens could have faced a sentence of between five and 20 years.

When he first joined YSL in 2016, Kitchens said in a statement through his attorney, he “did not consider it a ‘gang,’ ” but rather a “group of people from metro Atlanta who had common interests and artistic aspirations.”

Kitchens added in the statement that he has not been cooperating with prosecutors and has not agreed to testify for or against anyone else involved in the case.

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“I have chosen to end my own RICO case with an Alford plea and end my personal ordeal by publicly acknowledging my association with YSL,” he wrote.

Kitchens’s plea requires him to complete 500 hours of community service. For 350 of those hours, “he will speak to young men and women about the hazards and immorality of gangs and gang violence, and the decay that it causes in our communities,” according to Sadow.

The agreement with prosecutors also prohibits Kitchens from possessing guns or contacting any of the co-defendants, unless it is through his attorneys or the music label.

The Fulton County District Attorney’s office did not respond to a request for comment late Wednesday.

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