Tekashi 6ix9ine may get out of prison much earlier than expected.
The 22-year-old rapper (born Daniel Hernandez) was facing a minimum of 47 years and a maximum of life in prison after being charged with nine federal counts, including racketeering, conspiracy, firearms offenses, and narcotics trafficking, last November. However, under the terms of his recent guilty plea, he could walk free as early as January 2020.
In exchange for Hernandez’s complete cooperation, including his testimony before a grand jury, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York has agreed “not to prosecute the defendant for the crimes set forth in Counts One through Nine…. as well as additional crimes that the defendant has told the government about,” according to a newly unsealed plea deal.
Ultimately, a federal judge will determine the terms of Tekashi 6ix9ine’s sentencing during a hearing scheduled for January 24th, 2020. However, “should the defendant successfully cooperate, the government agrees that it will file at the time of sentencing a motion… for a sentence below any mandatory minimum,” the plea deal reads.
In exchange for his cooperation, Tekashi 6ix9ine will also be eligible for witness protection.
Tekashi 6ix9ine, along with four associates, was arrested in November 2018 following a five-year federal investigation into the criminal activities of the Bloods street gang known as Nine Trey Bloods, of which 6ix9ine is said to be a member.
He initially pleaded not guilty to all charges, with his lawyer arguing that his “gangster image” was merely part of his act. “An entertainer who portrays a ‘gangster image’ to promote his music does not make him a member of an enterprise,” Lance Lazzaro said.
However, federal prosecutors believed otherwise. Among other offenses, they accused 6ix9ine of being personally involved in multiple armed robberies, shootings, and the distribution of heroin, fentanyl, ecstasy, amphetamines, and marijuana.
“Members and associates of the Enterprise promoted and celebrated the criminal conduct of the Enterprise, namely narcotics distribution, acts involving violence, and the use of firearms, in music and on social media,” the initial indictment read. “The purposes of the Enterprise included preserving and protecting the power, territory, and profits of the Enterprise through acts involving murder… and threats of violence.”
In his guilty plea, 6ix9ine acknowledged that he joined Nine Trey Bloods in the fall of 2017 and admitted to assisting the gang in its attempt to kill a rival gang member. 6ix9ine also said he himself paid an associate to shoot Chief Keef, and also admitted to having taken part in an armed robbery and selling heroin. “I apologize to the Court, to anyone who was hurt, to my family, friends and fans for what I have done and who I have let down,” 6ix9ine said in his plea.
You can read the plea deal in full here.