The big Tekashi 69 (real name Daniel Hernandez) case has been ongoing for a long time now, but the rapper will finally learn his fate soon: His sentencing date is December 18, which is about two weeks away now. His racketeering and firearms charges amount to a mandatory minimum of 47 years in prison, but now prosecutors are recommending that Tekashi spends less time than that locked up.
United States Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman praised Tekashi in a letter he submitted to the judge (as Pitchfork notes), writing, “Hernandez provided the Government with critical insight into the structure and organization of Nine Trey, identified the gang’s key players, and described acts of violence that he personally witnessed or that he heard about from other Nine Trey members.”
He also praised Tekashi’s bravery, writing, “Hernandez testified in the face of threats of safety to him and his family.”
Additionally, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Longyear wrote a letter in praise of Tekashi, saying that he “walked the government through his social media account (which was quite voluminous) and located pertinent messages and videos and provided context.” He also wrote, “There is no question that the defendant’s life will never be the same because of his cooperation in this case. He and his family will have to take extra safety precautions when being in public so as to avoid potential reprisals from others.”
This letter from the prosecution is known as a 5K1 Letter, which allows the judge to give Tekashi a sentence that is below the mandatory minimum.
Tekashi previously said he hopes to be out of prison by early 2020. When asked in court about his understanding of a 5K1 Letter, he said, “It has the good bad and the ugly about me. The judge gets it, and can go under the mandatory minimum. Like, time served.”