Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, has been sentenced to two years on a multitude of charges stemming from his involvement with a Brooklyn street gang that terrorized its neighborhood, CNN reports. Prosecutors had pleaded for leniency since the rapper provided valuable testimony against his former gang.
Tekashi 6ix9ine, who professionally goes by multiple variant spellings of his stage name, wasn’t actually affiliated with any street gangs, much less Brooklyn’s the Nine Trey gang, which at one time was known for terrorizing the city. Some of the gang’s alleged crimes include a March 2018 shooting in Times Square, an April 2018 shooting at the Barclay’s Center, and a June 2018 shooting at the W Hotel in Times Square.
Hernandez, for his part, admitted that he used the gang to artificially legitimize his “street cred” and began giving them money to fund their operations.
Last November, however, Hernandez and other Nine Trey gang members were arrested and charged with multiple federal crimes, including racketeering. Hernandez himself was charged with federal racketeering and firearms charges, including conspiracy to murder and armed robbery, and faced up to life in prison.
However, in February 2019, Hernandez took a plea deal. As TMZ reported at the time, that plea deal would result in a short sentence and witness protection after he’s released in exchange for his testimony against the gang. Hernandez took the plea deal and provided the testimony, which gave authorities a look at the inner workings of the gang and helped put at least two members behind bars.
This week, Hernandez’s attorney, Lance Lazzaro, noted the usefulness of his client’s testimony to federal authorities and urged the judge to sentence the rapper to time served. However, Judge Paul Engelmayer, while giving the rapper credit for helping prosecutors send several violent gang members to prison, instead sentenced him to two years, plus the 13 months of time he already served, according to The New York Times. Further, Hernandez was also sentenced to five years supervised release plus 300 hours of community service.
In a letter to the judge, Hernandez apologized to his fans for letting them down.
“I now know that I am remorseful for what happened because I was blessed with the gift of an opportunity that most people dream of but I squandered it by getting involved with the wrong people and misrepresenting myself when I should have been true to myself and my fans,” he wrote.