Jamel Jones – AKA Mel Murda, the so-called “godfather” of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods gang affiliated with rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine – has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.
US Attorney Geoffrey Bermanto described Jones as the “leader” of Trey Nine, partially due to the possibility that other senior figures in the gang may already be in prison.
Jones was sentenced to 135 months after pleading guilty to racketeering and narcotics charges in April, though BBC News reports he is hoping for a reduced sentence following his participation as a government informant.
Jones was originally arrested four days after being caught selling two kilograms of heroin to an undercover police officer in 2018. His sentence also related to distributing fentanyl, an opioid that can be up to 100 times stronger than heroin.
The 39-year-old wrote a letter to judge Paul Engelmayer earlier this month pleading for a reduced sentence, claiming he’d got mixed up in crime at the age of 15, but now wanted to be there for his kids.
Lisa Evers, a Fox 5 News reporter who covered the trial, told Radio 1 Newsbeat: “He testified that he was a member of this gang but that he was basically doing it as a publicity stunt to promote his career.
“I can’t even tell you how shunned he is right now by the hip-hop world here. They even call him ‘Tekashi Snitch 9ine’.”
Earlier this month (October 4), Nine Trey members Anthony Ellison and Aljermiah Mack were convicted of racketeering after the rapper gave evidence in an attempt to cut his own jail time. Ellison was also found guilty of kidnapping Tekashi 6ix9ine, while Mack was found guilty of separate drug dealing charges. Despite facing a minimum of 47 years in jail, it’s possible that he could be released by 2020 after his testimonies helped to secure the convictions.
Reviewing his debut album ‘Dummy Boy’ last year, a record the rapper released whilst in prison, NME said: “Tekashi has released ‘Dummy Boy’ at the apex of his fame, but at this stage, he’s little more than an internet phenomenon and controversy magnet who also raps.”