January 15, 2020 — If the feds can’t nail notorious Detroit street legend George (G.G.) Rider for arson, they seem content on settling for his brother.

G.G. Rider was convicted in state court of being the middle man in a murder-for-hire plot back in the summer and is doing life in prison. That didn’t stop Uncle Sam from continuing to pour it on; six weeks later he was indicted for arson.

But in November, the charges were quietly dropped. This month, Rider’s brother, Lawrence Rider-El, was indicted for the crime instead. He also faced charges in the original August indictment before it was dismissed and has a federal conviction in his past.

According to court documents, G.G. Rider, a storied figure on the street on Detroit’s eastside dating back to the 1980s, needed to raise money for his defense fund in his murder case and conspired with a federal informant inside the Macomb County Jail to burn down the informant’s $1,000,000 Macomb County residence in order to collect a $2,000,000 insurance payout. Rider-El aided in the conspiracy, per his indictment, by receiving a letter from his brother instructing him to a paint a house which prosecutors claim was code to torch it. At his arraignment last week, Rider-El pleaded not guilty.

Rider-El, 59, is a Moorish Temple International Ambassador. The “Moors” are a sect within the Muslim religion.

G.G. Rider, 61, did federal prison time for narcotics trafficking in the 1990s and early 2000s. Upon his release, he reinvented himself into a real estate mogul, however he appeared to draw the ire of both the feds and local authorities when he sold the historic Fine Arts Theater on the edge of Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood for a couple million bucks in late 2017. They believe he’s linked to a cold-case murder on the property. In February 2018, he was charged and eventually found guilty in the Julli Johnson slaying, a woman killed the previous month at the behest of her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend and jurors agreed hired Rider to hook her up with a hit man.

*Gangster Report correspondent Ricardo Ferrell contributed to this article.

Leave a Reply