MANHATTAN (CN) – At a dramatic hearing where Tekashi 6ix9ine was denied bail on gang-related conspiracy charges, prosecutors told a federal judge late Monday of a credible threat that ex-associates of the New York rapper had authorized a hit against him over the weekend.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Longyear said, after a wiretap intercepted the threat, authorities brought the 22-year-old whose real name is Daniel Hernandez to their Manhattan offices on Saturday to offer protective services.
A day earlier 6ix9ine publicly renounced his manager, booking agent and publicist in an appearance on the popular “Breakfast Club” radio show. After 6ix9ine announced the firings, former associates of the rapper authorized a hit to “super violate him,” Longyear said.
Though 6ix9ine declined the government’s protection and signed a waiver of liability, Longyear said authorities still trailed 6ix9ine in marked and unmarked police cars for the next two days.
Upon learning that 6ix9ine was headed from a Manhattan hotel to the Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut — a location Longyear said police “could not control” — prosecutors opted to “charge the case rather rapidly.”
Unsealed late this afternoon, the indictment against 6ix9ine contends that he directed several shootings and robberies through the Nine Trey Gangster Bloods, a subset of the national Bloods gang syndicate.
Specifically the government alleges that 6ix9ine was involved in a daylight gunpoint robbery of a rival gang member in Times Square, as well as a shooting inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn where 6ix9ine was scheduled to perform prior to a boxing match.
During a September search of 6ix9ine’s family apartment in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, investigators from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allegedly found the proceeds of the Times Square robbery incident and an AR-15 pistol.
Facing six counts of racketeering, firearms, assault with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit murder, 6ix9ine could face 32 years to life in federal prison if convicted.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman took a long pause, calling 6ix9ine’s “a close case,” before he denied the bail package and ordered the colorful-haired Brooklyn native to be detained.
At the conclusion of the 70-minute presentment Monday evening, the judge said he was mostly troubled by the risk of dangerousness, which he said he could not be mitigated as easily as the risk of nonappearance.
Defense attorney Lance Lazzaro said the rapper was willing put up $1.5 million and surrender his passport to keep him out of pretrial detention.
Lazzaro, who previously handled Hernandez’s recent plea to a sex-crime charge in Manhattan, told Judge Pitman there no was risk of flight.
“He’s not running,” the lawyer said. “He’s never run a day in his life.”
U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer has been assigned to 6ix9ine’s case, and Lazzaro said he plans to appeal the court’s denial of bail Tuesday through him.
New York criminal defense attorney Dawn Florio is also defending 6ix9ine.
Four other co-defendants charged on the same racketeering and firearms counts were presented separately before the government presented Tekashi. At least two of the men were reported to be the scorned former employees fired last week.
The four co-defendants were ordered to pretrial detention without prejudice.
6ix9ine faces seven years if convicted on the brandishing count, and 25 for discharge of firearm related to the racketeering conspiracy, with the maximum of a life sentence.
In October 2015, 6ix9ine pleaded pleaded guilty to the use of a child in a sexual performance after videos surfaced on social media of him sexually engaging with an underage girl. Hernandez was 18 at the time while the victim was 13.
Hernandez was not required to register as a sex offender but ordered to refrain from gang affiliation, as well as the posting or reposting online of sexually explicit or violent images of women or children.
Last month a New York judge ordered him to serve four years probation and 1,000 hours of community service for violating the terms of that deal. Hernadez, who has more than 14 million followers on social media, has openly admitted an affiliation with a gang called the 9 Trey Bloods, according to a prosecution memo in the sex-crime case.
The ubiquitous red bandanas in the video for his breakout single “Gummo” make for an unambiguous statement of a Bloods-gang style aesthetic, if not actual affiliation.