Judge sentences rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine to 2 years in prison
NEW YORK - Brooklyn native and rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine will spend two years in prison in connection with a federal racketeering case involving his former gang, Nine Trey Bloods. A judge sentenced him on Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court.
The 23-year-old entertainer, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, was looking at a minimum 40 years behind bars but federal prosecutors described the rapper's cooperation against gang members who helped launch his career as "extraordinary."
The former gangster flipped on other gangsters only a day after the gang was busted on racketeering conspiracy charges in November 2018. The decision made him a target of social media ridicule by other performers labeling him a "snitch."
The judge says the rapper's sentence was far lower than the federal guidelines due to his cooperation.
With time served he will only face another 11 months in prison. He will then be on probation for 5 years and pay a $30,000 fine.
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Federal prosecutors claimed that they conspired as part of a “criminal organization” which made use of violence and drugs to maintain power.
Hernandez told the court that he had joined the gang to give him street credibility in exchange for a cut of his music industry earnings. He described being abducted and robbed at gunpoint after having a falling out with one of the defendants.
In a letter last week to the judge presiding over the case, Hernadez said he was relieved to have been arrested because he felt "stuck" in the gang and unable to escape.
Known almost as much for his tattooed, rainbow-haired look as for his music, 6ix9ine was a social media phenomenon before becoming an ascendant name in hip-hop.
He had 15.5 million followers on Instagram. His album Day69: Graduation Day was among the top-sellers on iTunes following its release.
6ix9ine had a multiplatinum hit song, "Fefe," with Nicki Minaj, which peaked at No. 3 on the pop charts, and "Stoopid," featuring the incarcerated rapper Bobby Shmurda.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.