Police say they have arrested an Atlanta-area street racing organizer, one of the first people to be charged under a new Georgia law that creates criminal penalties against not only participants, but organizers.
Online jail records show Adolfo Robledo was booked into the DeKalb County jail on Thursday on three misdemeanor counts of promoting drag racing. He was released later Thursday.
Robledo was arrested by police at the Atlanta airport moments after arriving on a flight from Miami, WSB-TV reported.
Lt. Timothy Donahue, intelligence unit commander for DeKalb County police, said one charges against Robledo involves a “takeover” May 30 at a suburban Ellenwood intersection on May 30.
“Takeovers are kind of like flash mobs centered around reckless stunt-driving exhibitions,” Donahue said.
Police allege that Robledo operates the ATLTuners Instagram account promoting illegal racing and stunt driving. Robledo denied that the account belonged to him as police led him away at the airport.
“I had nothing to do with it … You have to speak to my lawyer,” Robledo said.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed House Bill 534, which enacts heavier penalties on street racing and stunt driving, on May 3.
It requires at least 10 days of jail time for all convictions and would let police seize the vehicle of someone convicted a third time within five years. It also created a new crime of reckless stunt driving when someone is drag racing or showing off on private property without the owner’s permission. It also raised other fines and penalties increased jail times. Fourth and later convictions are now felonies with fines of $1,000 to $5,000 and one to five years in prison.
Organizing or promoting illegal racing or stunt driving, the crime Robledo is charged with, is a high and aggravated misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to a year in jail.
“Prior to the law going into effect, it was very difficult, if not impossible, for us to bring charges against the organizers,” Donahue said.
The charges against Robledo involve three separate takeovers in DeKalb County, all of which were recorded and posted on YouTube.
In all three incidents, Donahue said Robledo “was one of the organizers, one of the people that put it together, told everybody to meet up and determined where they would be going.”
Donahue said additional arrests are possible.