Tekashi 6ix9ine: Two men convicted after rapper's testimony

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Two gang members have been found guilty after the rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine gave evidence against them in a trial.

Anthony Ellison and Aljermiah Mack were convicted of racketeering and other offences.

Ellison was also found guilty of kidnapping 6ix9ine, maiming and assault – while Mack was also found guilty on drug dealing charges.

Tekashi 6ix9ine has turned on other alleged gang members as part of a plea deal with the US government.

He hopes the deal will reduce his prison time.

The rapper was facing a minimum of 47 years and a maximum of life imprisonment, but there is the possibility he could be released by 2020 after becoming a star witness for the US government.

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6ix9ine performing in 2018

Anthony Ellison and Aljermiah Mack, also known as Harv and Nuke respectively, face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, according to the New York Times.

They were part of the Nine Trey Bloods – a New York gang also known as TreyWay, which 6ix9ine has mentioned on Twitter before.

The inner workings of the gang was exposed by 6ix9ine – real name Daniel Hernandez – and another ex-gang member, Kristian Cruz.

Nine Trey Bloods committed robberies, dealt drugs and were violent against rivals and each other according to their testimonies.

But defence lawyers argued the witnesses exaggerated their testimonies to try and get a better deal with the government.

‘Tekashi Snitch 9ine’

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Media caption‘They’re calling him Tekashi Snitch 9ine’

Tekashi 6ix9ine, 23, joined the gang in 2017 but left less than a year later.

“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,” says Lisa Evers, a Fox 5 News reporter who is covering the trial.

“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.'”

Snoop Dogg posted a picture on Instagram calling 6ix9ine a “snitch” – and Meek Mill commented on it calling him a “ratgoon”.

Tekashi 6ix9ine has evaded jail time on previous charges, including child sex offences in 2015.

In 2018, he was charged with six offences including racketeering, carrying a firearm, assault with a dangerous weapon, and conspiracy murder charges.

Racketeering is when people use criminal actions to repeatedly take money from others.

He initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, before entering a plea bargain with the US government later on – that’s when he started giving evidence against former fellow gang members.

That could dramatically reduce his prison time.

“Whether or not he is going to be given leniency with his sentencing remains to be seen,” Lisa Evers tells Newsbeat.

“It’s a big deal because he’s looking at 47 years to life in prison.”

She adds: “Once he comes out [of prison], he may be given a new identity, but how’s he going to be given a new identity with that 69 tattoo on his forehead?”

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