Tekashi 6ix9ine, who was released from federal prison in April because of COVID-19 concerns, is officially done with home confinement, one of his attorneys told Vulture on Sunday. The rapper, legal name Daniel Hernandez, was “very excited” about officially being able to leave the house, said the attorney, Lance Lazzaro.
Hernandez was jailed following his November 2018 arrest on racketeering charges related to involvement with the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, an East Coast Bloods gang offshoot. Hernandez pleaded guilty in January 2019, brokering a cooperation deal with the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office in an effort to secure a more lenient sentence than the minimum of 47 years he was facing at the time.
He held up his end of the bargain, especially during a bombshell trial against two purported Nine Trey associates. They included Hernandez’s bodyguard-turned-kidnapper, Anthony “Harv” Ellison — who was convicted in this case last October. Hernandez dimed on almost everyone during his three days of testimony, from low-level gang members to stars such as Cardi B and Jim Jones. In December, Judge Paul Engelmayer sentenced Hernandez to two years behind bars. Because Hernandez had already spent 13 months in jail, he was expected to get out within 11 months. This brings us to where we are today: Hernandez is a free man, for the most part.
Here’s what we know about Hernandez’s future following his home confinement.
Can Tekashi do whatever he wants?
While Hernandez has been permitted to make music and go on social media since his release on home confinement, he can’t roam freely like before. In addition to prison time, Engelmayer sentenced Hernandez to five years of “supervised release.” At its most basic, supervised release means that Hernandez needs to avoid trouble and refrain from breaking laws to remain free. He’ll also have to check in with a probation officer from time to time. At Hernandez’s sentencing, Engelmayer warned: “I do not expect you to be tempted to engage in violence again. But if you are, remember this: As the judge in your case, I would regard violence of any sort as a grave breach of trust, warranting revocation of supervised release, and a return to prison.”
Is there more to supervised release?
Yes. Hernandez can’t illegally possess a controlled substance. He’s also not allowed to possess a “firearm or destructive device,” Engelmayer said at Hernandez’s sentencing. He also must cooperate in the “collection of DNA as directed by the probation department.” Another condition of Hernandez’s supervised release requires him to “submit your person, vehicle, device, and the like to a search by the probation department on the premise that they have reasonable suspicion that a violation of the terms of supervised release may be found,” Engelmayer said.
At sentencing, Engelmayer said that he was imposing the search condition “as I do in most gang cases, to assure that you know that eyes are always on you by the probation department.” Engelmayer said that in his experience handling gang cases, he’s seen that “sometimes even cooperators are tempted to reoffend” and pointed to Hernandez’s past law-breaking. “If you know that the probation department has maximal eyes on you, your home, your car, your devices, that may, if you’re tempted to stray, keep you honest, and that is good for you and good for the public,” Engelmayer said. The search condition is considered to be standard for people under supervised release.
Does Tekashi have to make some sort of amends?
Over the course of his supervised release, Hernandez has to perform 300 hours of community service. This will be “under the supervision of the probation department, which will approve a form of community service appropriate to your particular circumstances.” Engelmayer seemed optimistic about this at Hernandez’s sentencing. The judge had received letters on Hernandez’s behalf prior to sentencing, including ones about “the support you have given to ill children” which, in Engelmayer’s view, showed “both a platform and an unusual aptitude for giving back.”
“Community service is a way in which a defendant can begin society for the harm that he or she has caused,” Engelmayer said. Hernandez also has to pay a $35,000 fine. “Unlike in most gang cases, you have the ability to pay one,” Engelmayer said.
Will Tekashi be safe?
Federal prosecutors had previously stated that Hernandez might need witness protection because of his snitching, so it’s fair to assume there are safety concerns. However, Hernandez has said he doesn’t want to go into witness protection. Because the feds don’t provide security unless you’re in witness protection, Hernandez has had his own security team since getting out of prison, his lawyers have said. “That’s a very difficult question,” Dawn Florio, one of Hernandez’s lawyers, explained when asked about safety. “Obviously, everyone is concerned about his safety, but he’s taking precautions through all of his security to ensure that he’s safe.” TMZ reported in February that Hernandez “only wants legit former law enforcement officers or ex-military who are licensed to carry firearms” as his bodyguards, “absolutely nobody with any sort of gang affiliation.”
Where will Tekashi live?
We don’t know, and Hernandez wants to keep it that way. The TMZ article on Hernandez’s security team claimed that the rapper wanted to leave New York City, which is his hometown. The website also said that Hernandez wanted to “live with family out of state … in a home with Fort Knox–like security.” Hernandez temporarily deactivated his Instagram on July 14. This isn’t the worst idea, considering how his address previously leaked online. Florio said she couldn’t talk about the living situation for security reasons. She did say that Hernandez is free to travel around much of the New York City area without permission, but would need permission to travel farther. Asked if there might be a tour coming up, Florio said, “I don’t know about a tour, because of the pandemic. He just has a lot of big things planned.”
Does Tekashi have to keep wearing an ankle monitor?
Hernandez, who had to wear a GPS monitoring device under home confinement, will not have to wear one after his home confinement is up. “No ankle monitor,” Florio said. The ankle monitor was visible in music videos that Hernandez dropped after his release.