Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine left prison earlier than expected Thursday, because of concerns about his health during the coronavirus crisis.
A federal judge in Manhattan ordered the rapper — real name Daniel Hernandez — to be freed over fears that his chronic asthma could make him vulnerable to COVID-19, the New York Daily News reported.
“COVID-19 presents a heightened risk for incarcerated defendants like Mr. Hernandez with respiratory ailments such as asthma,” Judge Paul Engelmayer wrote in his decision. “The Centers for Disease Control warns that persons with asthma are at high risk of serious illness if they contract the disease. Further, the crowded nature of municipal jails such as the facility in which Mr. Hernandez is housed present an outsize risk that the COVID-19 contagion, once it gains entry, will spread.”
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Last month, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said Tekashi was scheduled to go free on August 2, 2020.
He was recently transferred to a private prison in Jamaica, Queens in protective custody out of concerns that he might become a target of his former gang associates.
On Thursday afternoon, he left the private prison. He’ll serve the final four months of his reduced five-year sentence on home confinement. His lawyers told the court that Tekashi would live with his mother and other relatives, the Daily News said.
The 23-year-old “GUMMO” rapper was arrested on federal drug and weapons charges in November 2018. Initially, he pleaded not guilty but changed his plea to guilty on nine criminal counts, including racketeering, weapons possession, armed robbery and trafficking fentanyl and heroin. Details in the case were unsealed in February 2019 after a secret plea hearing.
The troubled Brooklyn rapper detailed his gang activity for the court, stating that he joined the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods street gang in the fall of 2017.
He had faced 47 years to life in prison, but got a reduced sentence for cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and flipping on two Nine Trey associates.