Tekashi 6ix9ine could enter the witness protection programme after testifying against two members of the Nine Trey Bloods gang.
The rapper, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, took the stand at Manhattan Federal Court last week to testify during the trial of Anthony “Harv” Ellson and Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack.
Both men are facing federal racketeering and firearms charges, while Ellison is also being tried for his links to the alleged kidnapping and beating of Hernandez last year.
Now, according to the New York Times, prosecutors have suggested Hernandez could enter the witness protection programme. Former FBI official Jay Kramer told the paper that the rapper could go unrecognised despite his level of fame.
“Despite how connected we are, and the appetite for social media content in this country, there are places where, if this kid gets a haircut and wears normal clothes, no one would know or care who he is,” he said.
There is the issue of Hernandez’s distinctive look, however. Although his rainbow-dyed hair is said to have faded since his arrest, he has a huge 69 tattooed on his face. The United States Marshals Service is unlikely to pay for the removal of that and other tattoos that could reveal his true identity.
During Hernandez’s testimony last week, new footage was revealed showing the moment the rapper was pulled from a car when the 2018 kidnapping took place. In the footage, which is being used in the trial, one of the kidnappers threatens to shoot Hernandez as the rapper offers a substantial payment.
Earlier this year, 6ix9ine pleaded guilty to nine charges in the current case, including charges of racketeering conspiracy, multiple firearms offences, narcotics trafficking, and more. He could face at least 47 years in prison. He is expected to be sentenced in January 2020.