On Thursday, what was supposed to be a routine procedural hearing in the 6ix9ine case turned into yet another guilty plea—the seventh so far out of 11 defendants. Fuguan Lovick, who the government had previously identified as a "shooter" for the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, was originally supposed to hear a ruling on Thursday morning about motions to suppress evidence against him. Instead, he and his lawyer Jeffrey Pittell decided that Lovick would plead guilty to two counts: violent crime in aid of racketeering and a firearms offense. For the first, he admitted to assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of a racketeering conspiracy, and aiding and abetting the same. In the latter, Lovick admitted that he "brandished," rather than "discharged," a firearm (a lesser offense) "during and in relation to a crime of violence."
The counts, which together carry a "stipulated guideline range" of 90-96 months behind bars, with a mandatory minimum of 84 months—though the actual sentence will be determined in August—both date back to an incident at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on April 21, 2018. 6ix9ine was supposed to accompany Adrien Broner to the ring during his fight against Jessie Vargas. Before that could happen, there was an altercation, caught on video, involving 6ix9ine's crew and, reportedly, members of Casanova's entourage.
There were some significant legal hiccups during Lovick's plea hearing. During his first attempt at an allocution, he explained that, "On April 21, 2018, I went to Barclays. We were supposed to walk a boxer into the ring. Unfortunately, before we got there, we were attacked by 70 people. I pulled out a firearm and shot it up in the air to get them to back up... I wanted to get them to back up because they were attacking us."
Judge Paul Engelmayer was not satisfied with that, because it both painted the shot as self-defense rather than assault, and because Lovick did not mention Nine Trey. He gave Lovick and Pittell time to confer and come up with a plea that took all of that into account.
When Engelmayer returned from that break, he brought up a second issue: the incident in question took place in Brooklyn, an area that is not part of the Southern District of New York, where the case is being tried. He then called another break for the government to sort those venue issues out.
Finally, all issues resolved, Lovick proceeded with his second attempt at a plea. "I was a member of Nine Trey," he began, reading a prepared statement. He reiterated that he fired a gun in Barclays to "scare away" a large group of people. "I did that to maintain my position with Nine Trey," he said. He agreed with the judge that the shooting was an assault, and not an act of self-defense.
Lovick will be sentenced on Aug. 19. He has no right to appeal the sentence, unless it is greater than 96 months.