Last week, a grand jury in Atlanta indicted 26 people allegedly connected to Drug Rich, a gang whose members are accused of committing attempted murder, armed robbery, home invasion, kidnapping, burglary, aggravated assault, and a host of other crimes. According to the indictment, which Fulton County District Attorney Fanni Willis unveiled at a press conference on Monday, Drug Rich has a distinct M.O.: stealing from celebrities and influencers.
“What they do is target people who showed their wealth on social media,” Willis said at Monday’s press conference. “They know where these high-end items are, and they are seeking to get them.”
At least five celebrities in Atlanta have been hit by Drug Rich over the past two years, according to the indictment: Mariah Carey; Marlo Hampton, who stars in The Real Housewives of Atlanta; Calvin Ridley, a wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons; Brad Guzan, the goalie for Atlanta’s MLS team; and Brittni Mealy, an influencer who shares a son with Future, her ex. The indictment also details crimes committed against everyday Atlantans, who have been held up in their own homes, carjacked, robbed at gunpoint, and beyond.
The indictment is a doozy: 94 pages detailing dozens of crimes committed over the span of about four years. VICE combed through it to learn all we could about how Drug Rich operates and what they’ve allegedly done to their victims, famous and otherwise.
The celebrities Drug Rich targeted
In late June, four members of Drug Rich broke into Mariah Carey’s $5.65-million mansion in Sandy Springs, a suburb of Atlanta, according to the indictment. Carey was on vacation at the time, Page Six reports. There aren’t many details on what the men allegedly stole. All the indictment says is that, “at least,” they walked away with “clothing and shoes.”
Less than a week later, two masked men allegedly affiliated with Drug Rich broke down Marlo Hampton’s front door and barged inside with a gun. The Real Housewives star was at home with her two nephews, a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old. They holed up in a panic room and called the police.
“When I heard the boom, when I heard my nephew scream—and I knew that scream was a scream of fear—my heart dropped,” Hampton told Atlanta’s WSBTV in July.
The two men entered Hampton’s home “with the intent to commit a theft,” the indictment notes. But according to WSBTV, they fled without taking anything.
In September of 2021, someone broke into Calvin Ridley’s home and stole jewelry from the Falcons player. Though the indictment doesn’t name the thief, it notes that Darryl Johnson, an alleged member of Drug Rich, wound up in possession of the jewelry, along with the car used to commit the burglary.
According to the indictment, there were two incidents in which members of Drug Rich tried and failed to rob other Atlanta-area celebrities. In September of 2021, five members of Drug Rich showed up to Brad Guzan’s home with guns and tried to kick down his door. They never managed to get inside. And in July of this year, four men affiliated with the gang walked up to Brittni Mealy’s home intent on robbing it. Police investigating Drug Rich had been staking out the property—they had a hunch the gang might be targeting Mealy—and the men were arrested before they had a chance to try to break in, WSBTV reports.
The worst crimes Drug Rich committed
On July 4 of this year, five members of Drug Rich broke into a house in Sandy Springs and shot a man inside, according to the indictment. Fortunately, he survived.
In October of 2021, 10 members of Drug Rich barged into an Atlanta woman’s home, according to the indictment. They found the woman’s 16-year-old daughter showering on an upper floor, marched her downstairs at gunpoint, and threatened to murder the two women if anyone tried to call the police. They walked away with a phone, a purse, and two cars: a BMW and a Mercedes, each valued at around $100,000.
According to the indictment, Drug Rich gang members also carjacked several people at gunpoint. They shot into a home they were trying to rob, fired at a man whose house they were burglarizing, and, in one instance, beat up a man and forced him to walk around tied to a “makeshift dog leash.”
What happens next
At Monday’s press conference, Willis said that while a majority of these defendants had already been arrested, and about five were “in the wind.” Within the next few weeks, those who are in custody will submit pleas and attend bond hearings, where they’ll ask to spend the time between their arrest and trial at home instead of in jail. These defendants' chances of getting out on bail are likely slim.
All 26 people named in the indictment were charged with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO—the same statute Young Thug, Gunna, and about two dozen other alleged members of YSL, another “criminal street gang” in Atlanta, were charged under back in May. Thug and Gunna were both denied bail. Nearly four months after they were arrested, they’re still sitting in jail.
If these defendants are convicted of violating RICO, they’ll face a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison. Many of them are facing additional charges—including attempted murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon—all of which would come with additional penalties. And the charges in this indictment might not be the only ones these defendants face. At Monday’s press conference, Willis said other Atlanta-area district attorneys could be looking to build cases of their own against the gang.
“We know that this gang has also committed crimes in Cobb [County], in Fayette [County], in a lot of the surrounding jurisdictions,” Willis said. “And they have been at the table.”
Drew Schwartz is a senior staff writer at VICE. Follow him on Twitter.