Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine Denied Bail, Faces Life in Prison on Racketeering and Firearm Charges
Tekashi 6ix9ine has been indicted along with five other men on charges of racketeering and firearms offenses stemming from his alleged participation in multiple shootings and robberies at gunpoint, including a July incident in which a Brooklyn bystander was shot.
In court on Monday, the rapper entered a not guilty plea and was denied bail, TMZ reports. A trial date was set for Sept. 4, 2019.
Earlier this month, Tekashi — known for his album Day69: Graduation Day and hit “Fefe” with Nicki Minaj — was filming a music video with Kanye West in Beverly Hills when shots were fired outside. There were no reported injuries at the time.
On Nov. 19, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the unsealing of the indictment charges against Tekashi (né Daniel Hernandez), 22, as well as defendants Jamel “Mel Murda” Jones, 38, Kifano “Shotti” Jordan, 36, Jensel “Ish” Butler, 36, Fugan “Fu Banga” Lovick, 40, and Faheem “Crippy” Walter, 29.
All are allegedly members of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods a.k.a “Nine Trey” — whom the U.S. Attorney’s Office labeled “a violent New York City gang.” A joint investigation against them was conducted by the New York Police Department, Homeland Security and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
“Nine Trey was a criminal enterprise involved in committing numerous acts of violence, including shootings, robberies, and assaults in and around Manhattan and Brooklyn,” they said in a statement. “Members and associates of Nine Trey engaged in violence to retaliate against rival gangs, to promote the standing and reputation of Nine Trey, and to protect the gang’s narcotics business. Members and associates of Nine Trey enriched themselves by committing robberies and selling drugs, such as heroin, fentanyl, furanyl fentanyl, MDMA, dibutylone, and marijuana.”
Tekashi and the rest of his alleged gang members were taken into custody on Nov. 18 and 19. All appeared in a Manhattan court on Nov. 19 for their arraignment, where bail for Tekashi was denied as prosecutors argue in court documents that he is a flight risk.
A total of six counts were brought against Tekashi, including conspiracy with others to commit racketeering, discharging a firearm while committing a crime, committing a crime of violence in aid of racketeering, assault with a dangerous weapon, carrying a firearm, and committing a crime in aid of racketeering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Of those six, two charges have a maximum sentence of life in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He faces a minimum of 32 years in prison if convicted.
“Daniel Hernandez is completely innocent of all charges being brought against him,” the rapper’s attorney Lance Lazzaro said in a statement last Wednesday. “An entertainer who portrays a ‘gangster image’ to promote his music does not make him a member of an enterprise. Mr. Hernandez became a victim of this enterprise and later took steps by firing employees and publicly denounced this enterprise through a morning show. Threats were then made against his life which resulted in this case being brought immediately.”
It is not clear if the other men charged have obtained attorneys.
Indictment documents obtained by PEOPLE, via The Blast, show that officials used surveillance footage to link Tekashi to his alleged crimes, including the April 3 robbery of a man from a rival gang (Search warrants later found a stolen backpack, labeled “SCUM,” and an AR-15 pistol at his alleged apartment, the documents say).
The hip-hop star was also allegedly involved in an incident on April 21, when he followed two men in a car who had made “derogatory” comments against him and stood by while Shotti fired two gunshots at the vehicle, according to the documents. That night, both Shotti and Tekashi were at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to perform when a fight allegedly broke out amongst their and rapper Casanova’s entourages, causing a warning shot to be fired in the air.
Then, on or about July 16, Tekashi allegedly conspired with his gang members and agreed to shoot an individual who had shown disrespect to them, according to the indictment documents. The decision resulted in an innocent bystander to be shot on a Brooklyn street corner.
News of Tekashi’s arrest and arrangements comes a month after he was sentenced to four years probation and 1,000 hours of community service for a prior arrest over his alleged involvement in a child sex case. “GOD IS GOOD,” he wrote on Instagram after the sentencing back in October. “GOD IS… GOOD.”