‘Rapper’ Tekashi 69, 23, was sentenced to two years in prison on Wednesday by a federal judge who gave him credit for helping prosecutors send several of his former gang associates in the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods to prison.
According to the NY Times, the ‘performer’, who is also known as 6ix9ine and whose legal name is Daniel Hernandez, has already spent nearly 13 months in a federal jail and that time will count toward his sentence. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan had described his cooperation against former members of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods as “extraordinary” and “extremely useful.”
But the judge, Paul A. Engelmayer, said the conduct described was “too violent” to justify his immediate release from custody.
Tekashi 69, faces an uncertain future. Prosecutors have said he is at risk to be killed or injured in prison because the Nine Trey gang may seek revenge. Tekashi 69 has indicated that upon his release, he is not interested in the federal witness protection program, telling the court in a recent letter that he intends to keep performing.
The sentencing of Tekashi 69 started a bizarre, reinvention for Tekashi 69, who until his arrest in November 2018 had spent years fashioning his public persona.
But that facade crumbled when Tekashi 69 was arrested on firearms and racketeering charges that carried a sentence of at least 47 years if he were convicted.
Within 24 hours of his arrest, Tekashi 69 made a deal with the government, agreeing to plead guilty and testify for the prosecution against two co-defendants, both former Nine Trey members.
Tekashi 69 pleaded guilty in February to racketeering conspiracy and eight related charges in a hearing that was initially kept secret while the federal investigation continued.
“I was weak. I was easily influenced. I can’t believe that was me. There is no apology good enough,” he said through tears at the sentencing hearing
During his statement, after glancing at the audience, he appeared to break down. He explained to Judge Engelmayer that he had just seen his biological father in the courtroom. It was, the first time he had seen the man since third grade.
The man later identified himself as Mr. Hernandez’s biological father and tried to take the podium, but the judge refused.
Tekashi 69 apologized for his conduct in a letter to the judge last week. He offered no excuses and said he felt as though his world was “crashing down.” He said that even before his arrest, he had tried to distance himself from the Nine Trey gang “because I felt stuck, like the gang had control of my life and that I would never be able to escape their grip. I still consider myself a role model to millions of people as an artist, a celebrity and as a human being. I’m happy that the public was able to witness me dealing with the consequences of my actions because I feel like it sheds a light on what can come from gang affiliation.”
He has already served 13 months and will be released in late 2020.