Tekashi 6ix9ine, 23, wants to avoid as much jail time as he can, and that wish isn’t outside the realm of possibility. The rapper admitted he agreed to being a cooperating witness in the racketeering trial of Anthony “Harv” Ellison and Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack — alleged members of Tekashi’s former gang, the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods — in order to keep himself out of jail, according to a transcript from his three-day testimony that The New York Times published. Before taking the stand at a Manhattan federal court between Sept. 16-19, the “FEFE” rapper was looking at a minimum of 47 years (and up to life) in prison after pleading guilty to nine counts in the federal crime case against Nine Trey on Jan. 23, stemming from his arrest in Nov. 2018 — the counts included racketeering conspiracy and firearms offenses. Julie Rendelman, a criminal attorney in New York, EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife how Tekashi’s controversial testimony could change those daunting numbers.
“There is no question that Tekashi [real name Daniel Hernandez] chose to cooperate against others because he recognized that it was likely the only way to avoid a lengthy prison sentence. Once his cooperation is complete, the prosecutor will present to Tekashi’s sentencing judge how honest and helpful they believe he was. If the prosecutor (and the judge) believes Tekashi did everything that he was asked to do (and perhaps more) he could be looking at a sentence significantly lower than 47 years,” Rendelman told HollywoodLife. Emphasis on “significantly lower,” because the attorney added, “It is possible that he would be eligible for supervised release (parole) within the next year.”
How exactly soon Tekashi could be released from prison, should he be sentenced to jail, depends “on the specifics of his plea and agreement,” Rendelman explained. But behind bars or not, many fans just want to know how the rapper’s name dropping will affect his own safety (Jim Jones and Cardi B were some of those names). Tekashi even claimed he initially offered $20,000 to rapper Kooda B to shoot one of his rivals, rapper Chief Keef. Kooda himself claimed he had another individual, not himself, actually pull the trigger although no one was harmed, and Chief wasn’t specifically named in a transcript of Kooda’s guilty plea hearing obtained by Complex. That is just one incident on top of “a lot of crimes” that Tekashi claimed he committed during his time with Nine Trey, after joining in 2017, which included “robberies, assaults, [and] drugs,” Tekashi said in court on Sept. 17, per NYT.
“In terms of protection, many federal facilities are equipped to handle those individuals who are in danger from other inmates, based on the type of crime they have committed or the fact that they are cooperating against others. Obviously no facility is without flaws, but there are measures put in place to protect those individuals from violence,” Rendelman told HollywoodLife. And what if Tekashi becomes a free man? The rapper is hard to miss with his rainbow hair and more than 200 tattoos, and many are wondering if he’ll join the U.S. governments’ witness protection program. In a Sept. 22 article, the New York Times noted that “it is unlikely the United States Marshals Service, which runs the witness protection program, would pay for the removal of Mr. Hernandez’s signature face tattoos.”
“The question as to whether he will join witness protection is unknown at this point,” Rendelman admitted to HollywoodLife. “One of Tekashi’s signature traits is the uniqueness of his look, his tattoos, etc. which would make such changes a bit more difficult. With that said, people can change their appearance, their name, where they reside etc. if necessary and the federal government would certainly step in if they believed his life was in danger to facilitate said changes.”