Tekashi 6ix9ine‘s lawyer has called the rapper a “victim” who is “completely innocent” of the charges made against him, after he was arrested by federal police on Sunday (November 18).
6ix9ine, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, was apprehended in New York and is reportedly facing 32 years to life in prison if he is found guilty of racketeering, armed robbery, gun possession, and drug trafficking charges.
The charges centre around the actions of the Nine Trey Bloods gang, of which Hernandez is claimed to be a member. However, attorney Lance Lazzaro denied this at an arraignment hearing on Monday (November 19), saying the rapper had met members of the gang in 2017 and had hired them as management and security, but was not a participant in the gang himself.
Lazzaro released a statement earlier today (November 21), denying his client’s involvement in the alleged crimes. “Daniel Hernandez is completely innocent of all charges being brought against him,” he wrote. “An entertainer who portrays a ‘gangster image’ to promote his music does not make him a member of an enterprise.”
“Mr. Hernandez became a victim of this enterprise and later took steps by firing employees and publicly denounced this enterprise through a morning show,” Lazzaro’s statement continued, referring to 6ix9ine’s appearance on the radio show The Breakfast Club, where he distanced himself from his former team. “Threats were then made against his life which resulted in this case being brought immediately.”
An indictment against the rapper, released yesterday, read: “Members and associates of the Enterprise promoted and celebrated the criminal conduct of the Enterprise, namely narcotics distribution, acts involving violence, and the use of firearms, in music and on social media. The purposes of the Enterprise included preserving and protecting the power, territory, and profits of the Enterprise through acts involving murder… and threats of violence.”
Lazzaro’s request for 6ix9ine to be released on bail has been denied.
Last week, the controversial star cancelled all remaining dates on his US tour and fired his entire staff. He claimed to have sacked his manager, booking agent, and publicist after suggesting members of his team were booking shows without his knowledge and stealing money from him.
Sources close to his former booking agents reportedly told The Blast they had not ripped off the rapper but his team felt he was struggling to understand the business side of the music industry.