NEW YORK — Rapper Tekashi69 says his star performance as a government informant has put a bull’s-eye on his back — and he wants to spend the rest of his prison sentence under house arrest, according to a new court filing.
The former Nine Trey Bloods member, whose turn as a federal songbird turned him into an internet meme, was sentenced to two years behind bars — including 13 months of time served — for his violent role in the bloodthirsty gang.
Tekashi, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, 23, made the pitch in a motion filed by his lawyer, Lance Lazzaro, in Manhattan federal court Tuesday.
“Despite the significant threat to his music career and his personal safety, Hernandez first publicly denounced the Nine Trey Gansta Bloods and later testified in a highly publicized trial that led to the conviction of two Nine Trey members,” Lazzario said.
Tekashi is being housed in a private jail to keep him safe from his former partners in crime, but even that step may not be enough, Lazzaro said.
“Even the private facility where Hernandez is currently housed has (a) variety of Bloods members,” Lazzaro wrote.
And the private jail doesn’t offer inmates the same opportunities normal federal prisoners have to apply to live in a halfway house within 12 months of release, or to get home confinement in the final six months.
Only inmates in federal Bureau of Prisons facilities can apply for those programs, Lazzaro told the New York Daily News Tuesday night.
“The reality of it is he cooperated with the federal government, and therefore he’s a target,” he said.
That’s why he’s in a private jail, for protection, but ironically the price of that security is he can’t apply for home confinement, the lawyer said.
“He’s all right. He’s strong, but he’d like to come home. We’re not fighting with the two-year sentence. That sentence he’s accepted,” Lazzaro said. Rather, he’s just asking for the same rights other prisoners have, he added.
“He’s being treated differently from any other prisoner, and this is somebody who helped the government and did the right thing,” Lazzaro said. “He’s being penalized for cooperating.”
At his sentencing last month, Tekashi apologized for his criminal lifestyle and said he set a bad example for his millions of fans.
A two-week trial of two Nine Trey gangsters, Anthony “Harv” Ellison and Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack, revealed that in 2017 and 2018 Tekashi got street cred for his gang membership, and his fame, in turn, boosted the gang’s reputation and money flow.
He filmed as his manager, Kifano “Shotti” Jordan, robbed a rival at gunpoint inside the lobby of a Times Square hotel in April 2018, and that same month, a member of his entourage fired a gun inside the Barclays Center during a confrontation with the crew of a rival rapper, Casanova.
At his sentencing, Judge Paul Engelmayer praised Tekashi’s decision to turn informant as “brave,” but said he couldn’t overlook his eager and willing participation in gang violence.
(Stephen Rex Brown contributed to this report.)
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