USA

Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine facing 32 years over gang violence

US rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine is facing 32 years to life in prison over racketeering and firearms charges.

The "violent" defendant was deemed a likely danger to the community and denied bail after a prosecutor told a court there was evidence he directed or participated in multiple acts of violence as part of a gang.

Assistant US attorney Michael Longyear said a backpack stolen during a gunpoint robbery in April was found during a raid at the 22-year-old's home in Brooklyn, along with an automatic pistol.

He also said 6ix9ine was captured on surveillance video as he sat in a car and filmed the scene in Times Square, where his co-defendants allegedly carried out a violent robbery against a rival gang member.

"The defendant is quite violent," the prosecutor said.

The rapper has worldwide connections and hundreds of thousands of dollars and therefore poses a flight risk, Mr Longyear told the court.

He is also aware that a conviction would bring a mandatory minimum sentence of 32 years in prison and as much as life, the prosecutor said.

Judge Henry B Pitman ordered the rapper to be held until a bail hearing.

6ix9ine was among five people charged in an indictment containing racketeering and firearms charges.

His lawyer, Lance Lazzaro, said the rapper – real name Daniel Hernandez – poses no threat and denies directing or playing any other role in violence.

Mr Lazzaro said his client had fired some of his co-defendants as part of his management and security team last week.

6ix9ine has seen a huge rise to fame and has become one of the most controversial names in hip-hop.

More from New York

His album Day69: Graduation Day was among the most downloaded records on iTunes following its release in February.

He is also known for the multi-platinum hit Fefe with Nicki Minaj, and Stoopid, featuring rapper Bobby Shmurda, who is currently in prison.

Original Article

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