Following a lengthy testimony against fellow rappers and his former Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods gang members, 6ix9ine may have the option to enter witness protection.
The embattled rapper faces retaliation and even violence for cooperating with the feds as part of his plea agreement. Out of fear for his safety, prosecutors indicate that he could enter the witness protection program, according to The New York Times.
The government has successfully relocated and protected high-profile witnesses in the past. Former federal law enforcement officials say it’s possible for Tekashi to start over despite his celebrity status, noting that mobsters have become bakery owners and reformed assassins have found new careers as doll salesmen.
“Despite how connected we are, and the appetite for social media content in this country, there are places where, if this kid gets a haircut and wears normal clothes, no one would know or care who he is,” said Jay Kramer, a former F.B.I. official who worked on organized crime cases.
6ix9ine’s rainbow hair and tattoos have become part of his persona and make him easily recognizable. However, it’s unlikely that the United States Marshals Service, which runs the witness protection program, would cover the costs of his transformation including the removal of his signature face tattoos.
Tekashi testified against his former Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods associates Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack and Anthony “Harv” Ellison. During his three-day testimony, he also identified Cardi B, Jim Jones, Casanova, and Trippie Redd as gang members. He faces a minimum of 47 years in prison, but is expected to receive a reduced sentence in return for his cooperation.
While rappers including Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent have called him out for snitching, T.I. thinks he could reemerge. “It’s a bunch of rats walking ’round right now. And that’s the thing that really hurts,” said Tip. “This cat can come home and throw parties and the party be popping. It be full. So if muthafuckas weren’t fucking with rats, how in the hell is this party so packed? And everybody know how cuz came home. Everybody know what happened.”