Prosecutors praise Tekashi69 ahead of sentencing

New York Daily News 1 week ago

Federal prosecutors sang the praises of Tekashi69 on Wednesday, acknowledging the rapper’s life “will never be the same” because of his cooperation.

The government did not specify the sentence it believes Judge Paul Engelmayer should impose later this month. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Longyear’s effusive praise of Tekashi’s “incredibly significant and extremely useful” cooperation against the Nine Trey Bloods raised the prospect the Brooklyn-born trash-talker will get a sentence of time-served.

“There is no question that the defendant’s life will never be the same because of his cooperation in this case. He and his family will have to take extra safety precautions when being in public so as to avoid potential reprisals from others,” Longyear wrote in a letter filed in Manhattan Federal Court.

Tekashi essentially made the government’s case against four convicted Nine Trey members, Longyear wrote. Other gangsters pleaded guilty upon learning Tekashi had flipped.

"The defendant provided an insider’s view of Nine Trey and a first-hand account of many acts of violence that the government otherwise did not have,” Longyear wrote.

Tekashi, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, even went so far as to take authorities on a guided tour of his Instagram account.

Tekashi “walked the government through his social media account (which was quite voluminous) and located pertinent messages and videos and provided context," the letter reads.

The prosecutor’s memo is officially known as a “5K1 Letter.” The coveted document is a sign the government believes a cooperating witness was truthful and vital to it case, and allows judges to sentence defendants to below a mandatory minimum.

Tekashi began cooperating almost immediately after being arrested in November 2018. He pleaded guilty to nine gang, drug and gun charges carrying a mandatory minimum of 47 years in prison.

Were it not for Tekashi’s cooperation, prosecutors would not have been able to charge Anthony “Harv” Ellison and Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack, Longyear said. Tekashi took the stand against the pair for three days, causing a courtroom sensation that became the talk of the rap world. Ellison and Mack were found guilty in October.

“Other gang members and those in the rap industry have criticized him for cooperating and have openly questioned whether the defendant’s safety could ever be guaranteed,” Longyear wrote.

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