NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — The defense attorney for rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine said his client was “completely innocent” of the firearms and racketeering charges leveled against him by federal prosecutors.
Tekashi, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, was one of five people indicted on Monday on charges that he directed or participated in a series of violent crimes alleged to have been perpetrated by the New York-based gang known as the 9 Trey Bloods.
In court proceedings this week, prosecutors revealed that they pushed up the timeline for Tekashi’s arrest over the fear that he faced reprisals from members of the 9 Trey Bloods gang he was alleged to have been a member of.
According to the New York Post, prosecutors picked up Tekashi at his home on Saturday and took him to a Homeland Security office as a protective measure after learning of credible threats against him.
“They wanted to violate him,” Assistant US Attorney Michael Longyear said in court, according to the Associated Press. “They wanted to ‘super violate’ him.” Longyear said the term “super violate” indicated an intent to inflict a “violent act, including shooting him” on Tekashi.
However, Tekashi refused to cooperate and after signing a waiver he was released. The next day, federal authorities took him into custody after learning he was planning a trip to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, where he might be exposed to retaliation and put other people’s lives at risk.
In a statement released Wednesday, Tekashi’s lawyer pushed back against the claim that his client was affiliated with the 9 Trey Bloods
“An entertainer who portrays a ‘gangster image’ to promote his music does not make him a member of an enterprise,” defense attorney Lance Lazzaro said.
“Mr. Hernandez became a victim of this enterprise and later took steps by firing employees and publicly denounced this enterprise through a morning show. Threats were then made against his life which resulted in this case being brought immediately,” he added.
Tekashi has traded on his alleged gang affiliation over the course of his career. As a teenager, he was affiliated with an alleged criminal group as the Scum Gang, which he apparently referenced in his 2014 track “Scumlife” which recounts the life of a street-level drug dealer.
Tekashi himself was arrested for the sale of heroin and marijuana and spent time in Riker’s Island prison where he was alleged to have become affiliated with the 9 Trey Bloods, a New York-based affiliate of the Bloods criminal syndicate.