What to know
Brooklyn rapper defense attorney Tekashi 6ix9ine says his client is "completely innocent" against federal racketeering and gun charges.
The rapper, whose legal name is Daniel Hernandez, is among the five people accused this week.
Tekashi and others face charges that he led or participated in violent acts as part of a deadly gang known as the 9 Trey Bloods
Brooklyn rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine's defense attorney says his client is "completely innocent" of the federal charges of extortion and guns.
The rapper, whose legal name is Daniel Hernandez, is among five people indicted this week on charges that he led or participated in violent acts as part of a deadly gang known as the 9 Trey Bloods.
The indictment alleges that the violent episodes involving 6ix9ine included the July shooting of a bystander in Brooklyn and the gunpoint robbery of one of the gang's rivals last spring.
6ix9ine was conducted without bail after an initial appearance before a federal magistrate in Manhattan on Monday.
On Wednesday, defense attorney Lance Lazzaro said in a statement that his client was "completely innocent of all charges."
"An artist who plays a 'gangster image' to promote his music does not make him a member of a company," said Lazzaro.
"Mr. Hernandez became a victim of this company and later took measures dismissing employees and publicly denounced this company through a morning program, then threats were made against his life, which caused this case to be presented immediately. "he added.
At Monday's hearing, assistant US attorney Michael Longyear said the rapper did not give up his gang membership on the radio show last week.
He said that 6ix9ine would have been arrested this week anyway, but the calendar accelerated when authorities learned he was planning to go to a Connecticut casino where it would be harder to protect him from threats.
Longyear said the threats were heard on telephone calls intercepted by investigators on Saturday, including one in which a person was heard saying gang members wanted to "rape" him.
The prosecutor pointed out that the violence seemed to surround the artist. He said that 10 shots were fired at a house in Beverly Hills, California, where he was filming a music video a week ago.
Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York