On February 8th, a grand jury in Gwinnett County, Georgia, indicted former NFL player Eric Johnson on charges of trafficking women, including a minor.
The charges are part of a larger investigation into the LOTTO gang, which is accused of trafficking four women and one girl.
The gang members face charges including trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, violation of the street gang terrorism and prevention act, conspiracy to violate the racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act, aggravated assault, and kidnapping.
The attorney general’s office has said that the LOTTO gang conspired to recruit members and engaged in human trafficking for financial purposes and to buy weapons.
The investigation into the gang lasted a month and uncovered all eight members.
In a press release, Attorney General Chris Carr said:
“Throughout our state, gangs are actively engaged in human trafficking as a primary means to make money, and we are using all available resources to fight back and protect our most vulnerable.”
“By combining the strengths of our Human Trafficking and Gang Prosecution Units, we are working to ensure that those who lead, promote, and encourage this unlawful activity are vigorously pursued and held accountable for their actions.”
Gwinnett County is located in the Atlanta metropolitan area, just northeast of the city. Johnson played in the NFL for six years, from 2000-2005, for the Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, and Arizona Cardinals.
Carr said that the indictment of Johnson is just the latest outcome in their ongoing efforts to keep families and children safe and root out violent crime.
As The New York Post noted: Former NFL player Johnson, known as “EJ” in the gang, is being charged with RICO, trafficking of persons for sexual servitude and violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.
The 46-year-old joined the Oakland Raiders out of Nebraska, and he would spend four seasons there from 2000 to 2003.
He was best known as a special teams ace with the team, and he returned Tim Johnson’s blocked punt for a touchdown in the Raiders’ Super Bowl XXXVII loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003.
Johnson would move on to the Atlanta Falcons for a season in 2004 and then the Arizona Cardinals in 2005, which would be his final season.