Controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine (real name Daniel Hernandez) could face up to 32 years in prison after a US prosecutor said there was evidence that he directed or participated in multiple acts of violence as part of a gang.
Magistrate Judge Henry B Pitman concluded an hour-long hearing by citing "troubling" corroborating evidence that Hernandez was deemed a likely danger to the community and denied him bail.
“[Hernandez] is a member of a violent sect of the Bloods,” Assistant US Attorney Michael Longyear said at a hearing, according to Rolling Stone. “This defendant participated in multiple acts of violence.”
Longyear claimed that a backpack stolen during a gunpoint robbery in April was found during a raid of the artist's Brooklyn residence, along with an automatic pistol. He also said that Hernandez was captured on surveillance video sitting in a car, filming co-defendants carrying out a violent robbery against a rival gang member in Time's Square.
The prosecutor went on to say the rapper was part of a video boasting about shots recently fired by a co-defendant in Brooklyn's Barclays Center. He added that Hernandez was a threat to flee because of his worldwide connections.
Pitman ordered Hernandez be held until a Tuesday bail hearing, saying he was concerned about the danger to the community, particularly because the rapper could direct others to carry out acts of violence.
Hernandez was among five people charged in an indictment containing racketeering and firearms charges. The indictment alleged that he participated in the July shooting of a bystander in Brooklyn and the gunpoint robbery of one of his gang's rivals last spring.
His lawyer, Lance Lazzaro, said Hernandez posed no threat and denies directing or playing any other role in violence.
Lazzaro said his client had fired some of his co-defendants as part of his management and security team last week and was offered protection by federal agents on Saturday after some of them were overheard on wiretaps threatening his life.
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After the rapper refused protection, he was arrested on Sunday.
Hernandez has been one of the most ascendant and controversial names in hip-hop in recent months. His album Day69: Graduation Day was among the top records on iTunes following its February release.
He is also known for the multiplatinum hit "Fefe" with Nicki Minaj, which peaked at No. 3 on the pop charts, and "Stoopid," featuring the incarcerated rapper Bobby Shmurda.
But Hernandez also has had a series of run-ins with law enforcement and has publicly identified himself as a member of a violent New York gang, 9 Trey Bloods, which was mentioned throughout the indictment.
Prosecutors said the gang carried out acts of murder, robbery and narcotics trafficking in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn since at least 2013.
The indictment said each gang member was required to participate in at least two acts of racketeering conspiracy. Those acts could include murder, robbery, extortion and drug distribution, the court papers said.
The 22-year-old recently pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in Brooklyn Criminal Court in connection with a May traffic stop.
In a 2015 case in New York, Hernandez was sentenced to probation for his involvement in a sexually explicit video of a 13-year-old girl. The video, posted on social media, showed the girl performing a sex act on another man while Hernandez "stands behind the child making a thrusting motion with his pelvis and smacking her on her buttocks," according to court documents.
Additional reporting by agencies.
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