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Tekashi 6ix9ine Arrested on Firearms and Racketeering Charges, Faces Possible Life Sentence

UPDATED: Troubled rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, already in legal trouble on multiple fronts, was arrested in New York Sunday night on federal racketeering and firearms charges, a rep for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed to Variety. The rapper, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, and three others — his former manager Shottie (Kifano Jordan) and associates Faheem Walter and Jensel Butler — remained in custody after he was arraigned Monday afternoon.

The eight-count indictment claims Hernandez and the other defendants “participated in the operation and management of” the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods gang, according to TMZ and Pitchfork. Hernandez, Jordan, and two others are accused of robbing unidentified rivals of the gang at gunpoint on April 3; the indictment also mentions a July 16 shooting incident in Brooklyn. Hernandez and others are accused of agreeing “to shoot an individual who had shown disrespect to members of Nine Trey, and as a result of this agreement an innocent bystander was shot.” Hernandez and Joran are both facing six counts, the most serious of which is discharging a firearm while committing a crime, which carries a minimum 25-year sentence and a maximum penaity of life.

“As alleged in the indictment, this gang, which included platinum-selling rap artist Tekashi 6ix9ine, wreaked havoc on New York City, engaging in brazen acts of violence,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement. “Showing reckless indifference to others’ safety, members of the gang were allegedly involved in robberies and shootings, including a shooting inside the crowded Barclay’s Center, and a shooting in which an innocent bystander was hit.”

The investigation was a joint effort between the ATF, New York City police and Homeland Security. The news was first reported by TMZ; a rep for the rapper did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.

Hernandez said last week that he had fired his entire management team.

For all Tekashi’s recent success — the rapper has scored a number of hit singles, including his “Fefe” duet with Nicki Minaj, which reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 — he has been plagued with multiple legal problems for the past several years.

On Nov. 8, a gunman fired multiple shots at a house in Beverly Hills where the rapper and Kanye West were filming a video; there were no injuries and the investigation is ongoing.

He narrowly avoided prison time earlier this month when he was sentenced to four years’ probation in Manhattan court for violating the terms of a plea agreement stemming from his 2015 arrest for the use of a child in a sexual performance; the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office had argued for him to spend one to three years in state prison and register as a sex offender. That case dates back to 2015, when Hernandez admitted to using a 13-year-old child in a sexual performance as part of a plea deal. The case would have been closed if he’d remained on good behavior for two years, but he was arrested twice this year: Once in May for allegedly attacking a 16-year-old in Texas, and later that month in Brooklyn for allegedly driving with an expired license and assaulting a police officer.

Hernandez’s attorney, Lance Lazzaro, told TMZ he doesn’t believe Thursday night’s incident affects the rapper’s parole, but the site says Manhattan officials are looking into the matter. Lazzaro did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.

In a separate incident that remains unclear, in July he was kidnapped, pistol-whipped and robbed of jewelry in his Brooklyn home. He claimed two men got out, forced him into their car, and made him call another man to bring him some personal property, which he did. The rapper said the men took an undisclosed amount of jewelry and left. He “became uncooperative” after filing the report, police reps said, and was then admitted into the hospital.

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