The rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine was sentenced to 2 years in prison on Wednesday for his connection with a violent street gang that led him to fame, but was spared a sentence much more harsh because your decision to become a star witness for the prosecutors.
The artist 23-year-old, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, could have been sentenced to decades in prison for crimes that included the orchestration of a shooting in which an innocent passer was injured. He pleaded guilty earlier this year of charges that accuse him of joining the band known as the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. He has already served 13 months and will be released by the end of 2020.
After his arrest, he got rid of the reputation of the outlaw that had been shown in the internet, and testified against his fellow gang members earlier this year, which made some label as a “snitch”. The testimony helped secure the convictions of two high-ranking members of Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods.
“His cooperation was impressive. I was changing the game. It was full and courageous”said u.s. district judge Paul Engelmayer to announce the sentence, which is much lower than the federal guidelines for the crimes, in a courtroom of Manhattan.
But the judge said that the amount of time that the rapper has spent in jail was not enough for the violence of their crimes. He noted that many artists sing about organized crime, citing the book of Bruce Springsteen “Murder Incorporated”.
“You, Mr. Hernandez, is essentially joined to Murder Incorporated,” said Englemayer.
Before his sentencing Wednesday, Tekashi 6ix9ine expressed their sorrow for having joined the band, apologizing to his family, to his fans and to the victims of the case.
“I am not a victim. I got in this position since the first day,” said Tekashi 6ix9ine, that crumbled shortly after when he saw his biological father who says he has not seen since the third grade in the courtroom.
He then read a long letter, saying: “I Made many bad choices in life, but that does not make me a bad person”.
He expressed a regret similar for his actions in a letter he wrote last week to Engelmayer, in which he spoke of the relief he felt when he was arrested and his plan to make amends to them warning others not to follow their way.
“I am happy that the public has been able to see me deal with the consequences of my actions because I feel that this throws a light on what can come of the gang affiliation”, he wrote.
In a letter from pre-sentence to the judge, prosecutors said his cooperation was extraordinary” and that it was “incredibly significant and extremely useful”, which allowed them to accuse other people. His guilty plea February 1 drove to almost all the other defendants to initiate the negotiations for a declaration of guilt, prosecutors said.
“The government believes that their cooperation was not only substantial, but extraordinary,” said assistant u.s. attorney Michael Longyear in the Wednesday audience, pointing out the risks that Hernandez and his family faced because of his witness.
Prosecutors have described Nine Trey as one of the manifestations more violent of the nation United Bloods, with members across the country. Tekashi 6ix9ine relocated to his family before he was known publicly for its cooperation and then was transferred to another prison and to a unit without gang members, he said the government.
Your cooperation may make it eligible for a witness protection programme, although their facial tattoos badges -including a big “69” on his forehead – would do that to hide their identity is a challenge.
“There is No doubt that the defendant’s life will never be the same due to his cooperation in this case. He and his family will have to take additional security precautions when in public to avoid potential reprisal from others”, wrote the prosecutors in the letter.
In the witness of September, Tekashi 6ix9ine told the jurors that his role in the Nine Trey was “to continue making hits and be the financial support for the band… so they could buy weapons and stuff like that.” Asked what he received in return, he replied: “My career. I have the credibility of the street. Videos, music, protection, all of the above”.
Last year, he had a successful multi-platinum, “Fefe”, with Nicki Minaj, which reached its high point in the number 3 of the lists of pop hits, and “Stoopid”, with the rapper incarcerated Bobby Shmurda.
Tekashi 6ix9ine was persecuted repeatedly during the trial by rappers like The Game and Snoop Dogg, who wrote on Instagram that was sold in comparison with his friend Martha Stewart, who once was in prison for five months for lying about a stock sale.
By Larry Neumeister and Jim Mustian (AP)