Posted 6:57 p.m. ET November 20, 2018 |
NEW YORK – Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine was considered a likely danger to the community and he was denied bail Monday after a prosecutor said there was evidence that he led or engaged in multiple acts of violence as part of a deadly gang .
The judge of the Federal Court of EE. US, Henry B. Pitman, concluded a one-hour hearing by citing "disturbing" evidence that a prosecutor offered to prove that 6ix9ine led or participated in multiple acts of violence in the past eight months.
Assistant US attorney Michael Longyear said a backpack stolen during a gunshot assault in April was found during a raid at the rapper's residence in Brooklyn, along with an automatic pistol.
"The defendant is quite violent," the prosecutor said of the 22-year-old rapper, whose debut album, "Day69," was one of the most downloaded albums on iTunes.
Longyear said 6ix9ine was caught on a surveillance video when he sat in a car and filmed the scene in Times Square when his co-defendants carried out a violent robbery against a member of a rival gang.
The prosecutor said it was also part of a video that boasted about the recent shooting by a co-defendant at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Longyear also said the rapper was a threat of escape because of his worldwide connections, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and the knowledge that a conviction would result in a mandatory minimum sentence of 32 years in prison and as much as life.
Pitman ordered 6ix9ine to be held until the bail hearing on Tuesday, saying he was concerned about the danger to the community, particularly because the rapper could lead others to carry out acts of violence.
6ix9ine was among six people indicted on a federal grand jury indictment that contained charges of extortion and guns. The indictment alleges that he participated in the July shooting of a bystander in Brooklyn and the theft with a firearm from one of his gang's rivals last spring.
The rapper's lawyer, Lance Lazzaro, said that 6n9nine, whose legal name is Daniel Hernández, did not represent any threat and denies directing or playing any other role in the violence.
Lazzaro said his client had fired some of his co-defendants as part of his administration and security team last week and that federal agents offered him protection on Saturday after some of them were heard on wiretaps threatening his life. .
After the rapper refused to be protected, he was arrested on Sunday.
The federal statues of RICO (for corrupt organizations influenced by organized crime) date back to the late 1960s and were originally inspired by the illegal activities of traditional organized crime groups, such as the Mafia.
In recent years, federal prosecutors have increasingly resorted to extortion statutes to bring charges against other defendants whose alleged crimes conform to the parameters of RICO's statutes, said James Cohen, a professor of law at the University. from Fordham in New York, who has practiced both at the state and federal level. courts
All the crimes of which Tekashi 6ix9ine and his co-defendants are charged are also crimes in New York. The advantage of filing federal charges instead of state charges, Cohen said, is that federal courts are considered more sympathetic to prosecutors.
"The rules of evidence are not very different, but they are different enough in a certain way for prosecutors to get the benefit," Cohen said. "The federal courts are seen as a nicer place, I think most lawyers will say it.
"The second factor is that the sentences are, in general terms, more severe in the federal courts," Cohen added. "Then, as soon as you get the conviction, you can get more time, get more for your money."
6ix9ine has been one of the most important and controversial names in hip-hop in recent months.
In addition to "Day69," he is also known for the multi-platinum hit "Fefe" with Nicki Minaj, which reached No. 3 on the charts, and "Stoopid," with imprisoned rapper Bobby Shmurda.
But 6ix9ine has also had a series of frictions with law enforcement and has been publicly identified as a member of a violent gang in New York, 9 Trey Bloods, which was mentioned in the indictment as a criminal "enterprise."
Prosecutors said the gang carried out acts of murder, robbery and drug trafficking in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn since at least 2013.
The indictment says that each member of a gang had to participate in at least two extortion conspiracy acts. Those acts could include murder, robbery, extortion and drug distribution, court documents said.
6ix9ine recently pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct at the Brooklyn Criminal Court in connection with a traffic stop in May. In a 2015 case in New York, 6ix9ine was sentenced to probation for participating in a sexually explicit video of a 13-year-old girl.
Contributing: Maria Puente, USA TODAY
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