the law

Tekashi 6ix9ine Pleads Guilty to 9 Federal Counts

Tekashi 6ix9ine. Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Images

Tekashi 6ix9ine pleaded guilty to nine federal counts in a proceeding last week following his arrest in November on a racketeering rap, and cut a deal to cooperate with the Feds in the hopes of landing a less severe sentence.

Information from the proceeding wasn’t posted publicly on the online case record until Friday morning, but a just-unsealed court transcript revealed additional information about how the rapper (whose legal name is Daniel Hernandez) is talking to prosecutors and might need witness protection in the future.

“The government has represented that Mr. Hernandez is cooperating against multiple violent people associated with the same criminal enterprise of which he admits, or will soon apparently admit, being a member,” said Manhattan Federal Court Judge Paul Engelmayer during the proceeding. “The government has represented that among the information on which the superseding indictment against those individuals would be based would be information provided by Mr. Hernandez.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Longyear then explained the plea agreement: “The defendant’s obligations under this agreement are as follows: That he shall truthfully and completely disclose all information of the activities of himself and others to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and that he cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies.”

Hernandez — who faces anywhere from 47 years to life in federal lockup — also agreed to “attend all meetings of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office; that he shall provide to the office upon request of any document; that he shall truthfully testify before the grand jury or at any trial; that he shall bring to the office’s attention all crimes which he has committed; and that he shall commit no further crimes,” Longyear said.

Longyear also revealed that Hernandez “further provided information concerning additional crimes to the office’s attention, crimes that the government cannot prosecute him federally but that the court can take into consideration as relevant conduct at sentencing.”

“It is understood that the defendant’s cooperation is likely to reveal the activities of individuals and that witness protection may be required at a later date,” Longyear said.

If Hernandez does “successfully cooperate,” prosecutors will file paperwork moving for a sentence “below any mandatory minimum.” But if Hernandez doesn’t play ball under the agreement, prosecutors won’t file that paperwork, meaning they won’t move for a lesser sentence.

When it came time for Hernandez to explain why he was guilty, he admitted to joining the Nine Trey Bloods in fall 2017 and that “as a member of Nine Trey, the enterprise engaged in such activities including shooting at people, robbing people, and at times drug trafficking.”

“We operated in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. As members of Nine Trey, we had disputes with rivals of Nine Trey, including disputes with our own members who we deemed disloyal to our organization. We engaged in these various criminal acts to preserve and enhance the power of Nine Trey,” Hernandez also said.

Hernandez also appeared to admit to his role in the Chief Keef shooting last summer, which he’d previously denied having any involvement with, now telling the judge: “On or about June 2, 2018, in furtherance of Nine Trey, of the Nine Trey enterprise, I paid a person to shoot at a rival member of Nine Trey to scare him. The shooting took place in Manhattan. I did this to maintain or increase my own standing in Nine Trey. In furtherance of this shooting, I knew that a member of Nine Trey discharged a gun.”

“All right. With respect to all nine counts, are you pleading guilty because you are in fact guilty? “ Engelmayer later said.

“Yes, your Honor,” Hernandez replied.

“Are you pleading guilty voluntarily and of your own free will?” the judge pressed.

“Yes, I am,” Hernandez said.

Reached by Vulture, Hernandez’s lawyer, Dawn Florio, said, “As in the beginning of this case when there were threats against his life, we’re doing everything in our power to make sure Daniel Hernandez is safe as well as his family.”

Hernandez had faced charges relating to his membership in the Bloods subset Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, which the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office said carried out multiple violent crimes as part of its gang activity.

While Hernandez and five others were first busted on this racketeering rap, prosecutors announced on Thursday that three additional alleged Nine Trey members were indicted: Anthony “Harv” Ellison, Denard “Drama” Butler, and Kintea “Kooda B” McKenzie had been charged in this same case.

“Members and associates of Nine Trey engaged in a series of violent disputes with rivals of Nine Trey, including those within Nine Trey who they deemed disloyal to the enterprise. During these disputes, members and associates of Nine Trey committed multiple shootings, robberies and assaults against their rivals and against fellow Nine Trey members,” prosecutors said in court papers. “Members and associates of Nine Trey sold heroin, fentanyl, furanyl fentanyl, MDMA, dibutylone and marijuana in and around Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, New York.”

Hernandez may have to wait until January 2020 for his sentencing, though it could come earlier if others charged in the case also plead out.

Tekashi 6ix9ine Pleads Guilty to 9 Federal Counts