On Thursday, a jury in the Federal District Court in Manhattan handed down several guilty verdicts to Anthony Ellison and Aljermiah Mack, including racketeering conspiracy. Mack was also found guilty of conspiring to distribute drugs and Ellison — who used to be the rapper’s bodyguard — was found guilty of kidnapping the rapper.
Lawyers for Ellison and Mack did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment.
Tekashi 6ix9ine (real name Daniel Hernandez) was a key witness for the prosecution, providing three days of explosive testimony, during which he not only spoke at length about the two defendants, the illegal activities they partook in and the night he was kidnapped, but also the general goings-on of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. Hernandez even went so far as to accuse other celebrities and musicians of being part of the gang, including Cardi B and Jim Jones.
While Hernandez was the star witness, the prosecution also got an assist from Kristian Cruz, a former gang member-turned-witness, who described himself as a former “five-star general” who’d sold millions of dollars worth of drugs.
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Hernandez’s rise as a rapper was inextricably tied to the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, a link solidified through his former manager, Kifano Jordan, a.k.a. “Shotti.” It was Shotti who reportedly brought together the crowd of red-clad men seen in the video of 6ix9ine’s 2017 breakout viral hit, “Gummo.”
In November 2018, just over a year after the release of the “Gummo” video, Hernandez and Jordan were among those arrested as part of a joint effort between the ATF, NYPD and Homeland security. Ellison, meanwhile, had been picked up a few days prior.
While Hernandez initially pleaded not guilty to all charges, he changed his plea to guilty in January, copping to nine counts, including weapons possession, armed robbery and dealing narcotics. Around that time, reports also surfaced that Hernandez had decided to cooperate with the government, though during Ellison and Mack’s trial, he revealed that he started working with the prosecution the day after his arrest.