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Members of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office escort Mieyoshi Tyree Edwards to a waiting vehicle, Thursday, July 9, 2020, after Edwards was arrested in connection to two shootings in EBR Parish that left three adults and two young children injured this April and July.

In the latest chapter of Baton Rouge rap drama, two local rappers were arrested this week in Miami after federal agents searched a south Florida house belonging to Fredo Bang and arrested his associate Lit Yoshi, who was already out on $1.82 million bond and now faces additional charges stemming from yet another gang shooting.

The raid came after investigators linked Lit Yoshi, whose real name is Mieyoshi Edwards, to an April 2020 shooting in Slidell — and several months after a Baton Rouge judge told him to stop treating his house arrest as a "paid vacation" in south Florida. 

Edwards, 22, already faced seven counts of attempted first-degree murder in Baton Rouge. His existing charges stemmed from two shootings that detectives attributed to a simmering feud between rival Baton Rouge record labels. Edwards relocated to Florida after posting bond last August, a move the judge called prudent for his safety.

He was living in Miami with Fredo Bang, whose real name is Fredrick Givens. Both young men have established themselves as relatively successful rappers and are members of the Top Boy Gorilla gang, which goes by TBG. 

Givens was on parole after pleading guilty to illegal use of weapons and simple criminal damage to property following a 2015 shooting outside a Baton Rouge apartment complex. He was arrested Thursday on a parole violation after police and federal agents found guns inside his house and a stolen car outside, his attorney confirmed.

Law enforcement officials had previously announced they were investigating Givens and Edwards in connection with a May 2019 shooting in Miami targeting NBA YoungBoy, founder of a rival rap gang. Neither has been charged in that case, though a judge ruled in February that evidence from the Miami incident and the Slidell shooting could be used against Edwards in his ongoing attempted murder case.

Ron Haley, the attorney representing Givens and Edwards, said he hopes Givens will be released from jail soon because the guns were registered to his security guards and the stolen car was not his. 

Givens was scheduled to perform Friday at a music festival in Miami Gardens, the Miami Herald reported.

Haley said he has serious concerns about how law enforcement handled the situation Wednesday. He said officers showed up at the house to arrest Edwards on the new charges, then used that as an excuse to search the property. Haley added that Edwards has been compliant with his bond conditions and his whereabouts were no secret, so authorities could have notified him about the new warrant and asked him to turn himself in. 

"The aggressive manner in which agents entered into the home of Mr. Givens — with smoke bombs, armed with assault rifles and tactical gear — could have easily been avoided," Haley said. "Instead, his property was damaged, and his house was left a wreck."

It appears the search was conducted as part of a larger investigation into the TBG gang.

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Edwards had been free since last August, when he posted the exceedingly high $1.82 million bond. The Baton Rouge judge set strict conditions for his release, but allowed Edwards to move to Florida for his own safety, telling him to stay away from Baton Rouge except for family emergencies and court dates.

He was allowed to make music but prohibited from appearing in any music videos, posting on social media and possessing firearms.

Law enforcement officers testified at his bond hearing that the two shootings appeared gang-related. Officers described Edwards as a "top enforcer" with the TBG gang that has been feuding with the BBG (Bottom Boy Gorilla) gang, which includes NBA Young Boy and his affiliates. The two Baton Rouge record labels have a long history of deadly violence against each other, dating back to the 2017 slaying of rapper Garrett "Gee Money" Burton, a TBG leader.

The new allegations against Edwards shine more light on the ongoing Baton Rouge rap beef.

According to an arrest warrant prepared by Slidell police, officers responded to reports of a shooting on April 29, 2020, and later discovered the intended target was likely a man signed to the NBA Youngboy record label who allegedly had a "hit" out on him from a rival Baton Rouge rap group. The man and another person, who was injured in the shooting, had just entered a car outside a Slidell apartment complex when they were met with a hail of bullets.

The intended target, who escaped without injuries, was scheduled to testify against Edwards in court about a previous shooting. Detectives later unearthed a YouTube video posted in March 2020 in which Edwards called him a "snitch."

Edwards was finally arrested after his phone was found in a vehicle linked to another Baton Rouge shooting on July 4, 2020. Search warrants for the phone turned up evidence that implicated Edwards in both shootings, as well as other criminal activity, according to police. 

The phone also contained several text conversations in which his father urged him to leave town because his "life was in danger." Another phone number linked to Edwards pinged off a cell tower in Slidell around the time of the April 29 shooting, police said. Detectives also believe he paid an accomplice to help track the intended target in the days leading up to the attack.

Edwards was booked into jail as a fugitive and will likely be extradited back to Louisiana in the coming weeks. After learning of his latest arrest, Baton Rouge prosecutors filed a request to revoke bond on Thursday, arguing he violated several conditions of his release, including racking up new criminal charges. His attorney, however, argued there were no allegations of new criminal activity because the charges are based on an incident last year.

If the request is granted, that would leave him jailed until his existing charges are resolved. 


Email Lea Skene at lskene@theadvocate.com.