At Young Thug Trial, a 'Hand-to-Hand Drug Transaction'

Prosecutors claim rapper was handed a Percocet by co-defendant right in court
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2023 9:57 AM CST
Repeated Attempts to Pass Drugs Disrupt Rappers' Trial
Rapper Young Thug performs on Day 4 of the Lollapalooza Music Festival, Aug. 1, 2021, at Grant Park in Chicago.   (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)

The judge overseeing Young Thug's racketeering and conspiracy trial in Georgia claimed last week that someone hid marijuana in shoes brought to court for one of the 14 co-defendants, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It was apparently the start of a trend. On Tuesday, the mother of defendant and rapper Yak Gotti, real name Deamonte Kendrick, was arrested after allegedly trying to slip tobacco to her son with help from the mother of Kendrick's child, per WSB. Then, a day later, prosecutors allege Young Thug was involved in a "hand-to-hand drug transaction" in court. In an exchange caught on camera, defendant Kahlieff Adams walks up to the chief defendant, seated at a table with his attorney, and hands him something. Fulton County prosecutors say it was a Percocet pill.

Young Thug, real name Jeffery Williams, "extended his open right hand toward defendant Adams' closed right hand and accepted an item of contraband," according to a motion filed Thursday. It claims Williams then placed his closed hand beneath the table "to conceal his receipt of the illegal contraband." But Williams' attorney Brian Steel tells Rolling Stone that "the state's motion is replete with factual inaccuracies, embellishments, and improper attempts to make Mr. Williams responsible for someone else’s actions." He adds Williams "does not even know Mr. Adams" and was "cleared of any wrongdoing."

Sheriff's deputies immediately approached Williams to retrieve the passed item. They also searched Adams, who was found to have Percocet, marijuana, tobacco, and other contraband "wrapped in plastic and food seasonings to mask the odor of the marijuana," according to prosecutors. Adams, serving life in prison for murder, also "appeared to ingest other items of contraband that he held on his person, in an effort to conceal the extent of his crimes," prosecutors say. He was taken to a hospital while jury selection was "delayed and adjourned before a single juror hardship was addressed," according to the motion. Adams and two co-defendants were charged Thursday with additional offenses related to the contraband, per the Journal-Constitution. (More on the case here.)

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