A former player for the Las Vegas Raiders has been arrested along with seven other people as part of a huge human trafficking bust in Georgia.
Eric D. Johnson (not to be confused with the Grammy-nominated singer of the same name) had a promising NFL career in the early 2000s. He played for the Raiders from 2000 until 2003 before moving to the Atlanta Falcons in 2004 and settling in with the Arizona Cardinals in 2005. The ex-linebacker made a big name for himself in Super Bowl XXXVII with an impressive play where he blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown in 2003.
At the end of his career, Johnson moved to the Georgia Force arena team in Gwinnett County — which is where he’d eventually be tied to some heinous crimes…
The 46-year-old was indicted earlier this month due to what law enforcement describe as “41 predicate and overt acts” that were committed by a gang he was involved with between October 2021 and July of last year, according to Attorney General Chris Carr in a press release from earlier this month. The gang, known as Last One To Take Over (LOTTO) or the 30%, maintained its power through violence and other means. Johnson is believed by prosecutors to have engaged in human trafficking of four women and one underage girl as a leader in the operation.
The total of eight people who were arrested, six men and two women, spent all their profits from the trafficking on new weapons and other property related to the gang. And these people are facing a LOT of charges — which include 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 (RICO), aggravated assault, and kidnapping.
Carr said later in the release that Georgia’s human trafficking and gang prosecution units are steady on the job to protect the people of their community:
“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. This indictment is just the latest outcome in our ongoing efforts to keep our children and our families safe as we seek to root out violent crime wherever it occurs.”
It’s unclear if Johnson or any of the others arrested have entered a plea.
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[Image via Gwinnett County Jail/YouTube/NFL]