In the aftermath of his testimony in the trial of two members of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, there are lots of questions about what lies ahead for 6ix9ine. Will he walk free or serve time in prison?
The short answer is, we’ll have to wait and see. The eight-page cooperation agreement that 6ix9ine worked out with the government this past January is long on verbiage, but short on specifics. Here’s what we know:
6ix9ine cooperated with the hope of receiving a 5K1 letter from the government. That letter, if he receives it, will communicate the full extent of his cooperation to the judge, and the government can then recommend to the judge a sentence less than the 47-year minimum 6ix9ine currently faces. How much less? We won’t know for sure until it happens, but Jason Goldman, a criminal defense attorney at the law offices of Jeffrey Lichtman (who represented 6ix9ine’s former manager Kifano “Shotti” Jordan in this case), says that sentences of cooperators in criminal cases tend to get “all the way downgraded.”
To receive the 5K1 letter, 6ix9ine has to meet a number of conditions. They boil down to helping the government in the case; confessing to “all crimes which he has committed”; and not committing any new crimes. With all of his case’s defendants now either having pleaded guilty or found guilty of major crimes at trial, the first part of that appears to have been met. Although, if the government decides 6ix9ine wasn’t completely truthful when he was on the witness stand, he would lose his chance at a reduced sentence. When it comes to the second part, confessing old crimes, 6ix9ine’s cooperation agreement outlines a lot of them. Beyond the incidents that many people already knew about, like the Chief Keef shooting and the brawl at LAX, there is also a pre-fame heroin deal he brokered, years’ worth of domestic violence (“incidents of domestic violence from approximately 2011 through in or about November 2018,” the agreement says), weed dealing starting way back in 2013, and even paying someone to take three guns from Georgia to New York “in or about 2018.”
“In Tekashi’s situation, the general consensus is that it might be brought all the way down to a time served sentence.” - criminal defense attorney Jason Goldman
Even if he receives the letter, though, 6ix9ine’s sentence will ultimately be in the hands of Judge Paul Engelmayer. Jason Goldman tells Complex that many of his legal peers believe the rapper will end up with his wish of no additional time behind bars.
“In Tekashi’s situation, the general consensus is that it might be brought all the way down to a time served sentence,” the lawyer explains. “Obviously, I didn’t have all the details of being at the trial, but I agree with the general consensus that due to the degree of cooperation, and especially how early on he did that, it’s very possible that this gets brought all the way down.”
The cooperation agreement makes clear that, whenever he is released, witness protection (technically the Witness Security Program of the United States Marshals Service) is a very real possibility if the rapper faces “a significant risk of physical harm.” Recent reports claim, though, that 6ix9ine plans on turning down this option.
So, when will we know the outcome? 6ix9ine will be sentenced on December 18, 2019. And as with almost every other aspect of this wild story, surprises may still lie ahead.