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The rapper and star of Instagram based in Brooklyn known as 6ix9ine, whose talent as an interpreter is often overshadowed by a magnetic attraction to the problem, was part of a violent gang that sold drugs, robbed rivals and shot at people who crossed them. , according to an unsealed federal indictment on Monday.
The rapper, whose given name is Daniel Hernandez, 22, was indicted along with five men, some of whom were part of his administrative team, including Kifano Jordan, known as Shottie.
Mr. Hernandez and Mr. Jordan were part of a gang known as the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, and committed a series of violent crimes and drug trafficking crimes, including attempted murder and armed robbery, the indictment said. In one case, a plan to shoot someone who had been disrespectful to the group led to a shooting on July 16 of an innocent bystander in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. On April 21, one of the men shot an opponent inside the Barclays Center, but no one was hit.
"This gang, which included the platinum selling rap artist Tekashi 6ix9ine, wreaked havoc in New York City, committing blatant acts of violence," said Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney in Manhattan, in a statement, referring to Mr. Hernández by another artistic name he has used.
Researchers from the New York Police Department and two federal agencies, alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives and national security investigators, participated in the case.
The charges on Monday are the most serious in a series of legal problems for Mr. Hernandez, who has spent the past two years creating a divisive brand for himself.
It came less than a month after a shooting at a restaurant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where Mr. Hernandez had gone to meet with the head of his record label. Mr. Jordan was charged with assault in relation to the melee, which resulted in a bodyguard firing a gun. Also arrested on extortion charges was Walter Faheem, known as Crippy, who was wounded in the shooting.
Just last week Mr. Hernandez pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct charges stemming from an incident with a police officer in Brooklyn earlier this year. Last month, he was sentenced to four years of probation, including requirements to stop joining known gang members, after he pleaded guilty to using a child in a sexual performance.
Mr. Hernandez had participated in a video showing a 13-year-old girl performing a sex act, which he then posted online, prosecutors said. Mr. Hernandez, 18, said at the time that he did not know the girl's age and told the police that his "person is only worth the shock."
The men appeared in court Monday night and were ordered detained without bail.
One of the charges facing Mr. Hernández carries a minimum prison sentence of 25 years, if convicted. A lawyer who has represented Mr. Hernandez could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Hernandez's career seemed destined for success. He got He built followers on SoundCloud and Instagram, where he has 15 million followers. His debut single, "Gummo", was platinum and reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Three subsequent songs broke the Top 50, including "Fefe", with Nicki Minaj, who also reached platinum and reached number 3. Their debut album, "DAY69", came out in February and reached number 4 on the album list of Billboard. .
Over the weekend, Mr. Hernandez announced that his follow-up album, "Dummy Boy," will be released on Friday and will feature two songs with musician Kanye West.
But its buzz in the industry came with, and intensified by, a dark cloud of Internet meat that often metastasized into violence.
Earlier this month, just two weeks after filming the restaurant, there was a shooting in a house in Beverly Hills, California, where Mr. Hernandez was filming a music video with Mr. West and Ms. Minaj. In August, shots were fired during the filming of a music video in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, starring Mr. Hernandez and rapper 50 Cent.
In July, Mr. Hernandez was kidnapped and robbed in Brooklyn. Although he said he would refuse to cooperate with the police in that investigation, a former member of his administrative team was arrested and charged with theft this month.
Mr. Hernandez said last week in a radio interview with The Breakfast Club that was cleaning the house after the incidents and followed the judge's orders by distancing himself from Mr. Jordan. "Everyone is gone, get out of my life," he said. The rapper added that his only legitimate business partner was Elliot Grainge, the founder of 10k Projects, the record label of Mr. Hernández.
Representatives of 10k Projects did not immediately comment on the latest arrest and how it could affect the release of the new 6ix9ine album.
But Mr. Hernandez seemed to predict his fate in the interview last week that has been viewed more than four million times. The only detail in which he was wrong was the federal agency involved.
"There are only two things that I am afraid of in life," he said. "God first, and F.B.I."