Tekashi 6ix9ine has been sentenced to two years in prison with five years supervised release, as reported by Consequence of Sound. The rapper was initially facing 47 years to life in prison but was given leniency in his case due to his testimony as a state’s witness.
Days before the sentencing, a gun charge against 6ix9ine was dropped, reducing his possible minimum to 37 years. 6ix9ine has already spent 13 months in custody, which will count as time served, leaving him with 11 more months. He’ll be released at the end of 2020 when he’ll have 300 hours of community service to complete and a $35,000 fine.
6ix9ine’s sentence, which was handed down by Judge Paul Engelmayer, marked the close of an incredibly public and controversial case.
The rapper, born Daniel Hernandez was arrested in November 2018. A number of his associates in the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods gang were also arrested. Members of the group were arraigned with a number of federal charges including attempted murder, assault, conspiracy, firearms offences, racketeering, and trafficking narcotics.
6ix9ine originally pleaded not guilty and claimed his gangster image was “an act” to help boost his career. Eventually, the rapper changed his mind and made a deal with prosecutors after the threat of a five-decade prison sentence came about.
He then made a plea where he admitted to attempting to kill a rival gang member, ordering ‘Chief Keef’ to be shot, armed robbery, and selling heroin, along with other crimes. 6ix9ine then made a deal where he became the state’s witness, providing testimonies against his former fellow members in Nine Trey Bloods. He testified against Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack and Anthony “Harv” Ellison, along with a third man identified as ‘Sha’.
The group were involved in kidnapping, robbing, and beating the rapper in July last year after 6ix9ine had fired Ellison as his bodyguard.
6ix9ine spoke freely on the stand. Identifying other members of the Nine Trey Bloods gang, he reportedly named hip-hop stars Cardi B and Jim Jones. He also revealed he ordered an assault on rival rapper, Trippie Red and was involved in the shooting of Casanova at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Prosecutors sought a reduced sentence for the rapper in exchange for his cooperation. He was also reportedly offered witness protection. The rapper chose to hire personal bodyguards instead, partially due to his very recognisable facial tattoos but also because he desired to continue his rap career after prison.
Earlier this week the rapper sent a letter to the judge, asking for a lighter sentence. He wrote, saying he considers himself “a role model to millions of people as an artist, a celebrity and as a human being.”
“I’m truly sorry for the harm that I’ve caused. If given a second chance, I will not let this court down and I will dedicate a portion of my life to helping others not make the same mistakes that I’ve made.”
Inner City Press report that Judge Engelmayer believed 6ix9ine benefited from his time with the group, “You used Nine Trey as a potent means of getting even with your rivals,” he argued. “You claim you ‘foolishly commingled with members of the gang,’ but it’s more than that. The attacks would not have happened without you.”
“I reject the portrait of you as a passive participant,” said Judge Engelmayer.
“You told the US Probation Department you were brainwashed by the gang. That might be partially true. But the relationship was symbiotic. They got something out of it. But so did you.”
The judge continued, saying the rapper’s artistic license didn’t afford him legal protections. “It’s a common motif… Bruce Springsteen sang about Murder Incorporated, you essentially joined Murder Incorporated.”
“Your choice to join Nine Trey was unnecessary. I see a lot of gangs members… they fell in at a young age. That excuse is not available to you. By the time you began with Nine Trey, you were a nationally famous rapper. You had a prosperous future. Your counsel says you joined to break out of poverty. I am not buying that. You were set. As a result of your musical career, you could have gotten the advice of security people, and presumably lawyers and accountants.”
“The worst part is over,” the judge told 6ix9ine. “There is a great deal to be admired about you. You’ve learned a hard lesson here. I wish you very, very well.”