Tekashi 6ix9ine, 23, was facing a possible life sentence before 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 exchange for his testimony, Tekashi [real name Daniel Hernandez], who pleaded guilty to nine counts in the federal crime case against Nine Trey, will receive a reduced sentence and may even be out of prison by 2020. But, according to behavioral scientist Lisa Taylor-Austin, an expert witness specializing in criminal street gangs of the United States, he’s far from safe behind bars.
“He testified at length about the nine tray gangsta bloods and that is very uncommon. Now the gang will label him a snitch and he will be at target. They will either try to kill him or possibly assault him or his family members. He’s a sitting duck at the moment. If he’s in a New York City facility, there are a lot of blood gang members that are in there so they are going to know he’s coming before he even gets there. He is going to have a very difficult time. He’s going to be at risk of retaliation even while he’s in prison,” she told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY.
According to Lisa, being behind bars can often put a target at an even higher risk. “In prison you’ve got all these people confined in a small area, they can’t leave and go about their day, they are all right there, held captive, so it’s easier to get at the person. Someone watching him in prison can see his patterns of activity. When you’re outside of prison you can change your patterns of activity, you can go home different way, drive a different car. You can go stay at somebody else’s house. But when you are in prison you have a very set pattern of activity so it makes it easier to get at someone.”
Fortunately for Tekashi, he was transferred in Nov. 2018 from the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center to an unnamed federal prison used to house cooperating witnesses. But, although this is safer he’s still at risk, according to Lisa. “Federal prisons do not have as much violence as state prisons,” Lisa told us. “That’s not to say they are safe, but they are usually safer and less crowded than state prisons, so it sounds like the government is doing their part to try and protect him. However there are bloods everywhere, there are bloods on the street, bloods in state prisons and there are bloods in federal prisons so it remains to be seen if they will be successful in protecting him.”