Several people working on a security team for New York rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine were indicted in Manhattan on Monday in an alleged robbery that took place last year, District Attorney Cy Vance said.
Five members of the “Gummo” rapper’s team have been charged with Robbery in the First Degree, Robbery in the Second Degree, and Criminal Impersonation in the First Degree. One of the defendants, former NYPD detective Daniel Lapuerta, was also charged with falsely reporting an incident.
The four men charged alongside Lapuerta are Sammy Sprouse, Kristian Fuhse, Christian Cortez, and Egardo Cortez. Egardo and Christian seem to be related, with both men residing in Pompano Beach, Florida.
According to court records, a man and his girlfriend spotted 6ix9ine, whose legal name is Daniel Hernandez, driving with his security team in Harlem last year. As the victim whipped out his phone to record the rapper, the four-man security detail allegedly shouted at him and began to chase him through the upper Manhattan neighborhood.
6ix9ine and his entourage allegedly followed the man for 20 blocks in several SUVs decked out with flashing lights and sirens. After some time, the man attempted to flag down a marked police car. That’s when Lapuerta allegedly lied to the police.
The 44-year-old retiree is said to have flashed his NYPD Member of Service card, telling uniformed officers that the man threatened 6ix9ine and his crew with a gun. Authorities say he later called 911 repeating the same claim.
Eventually, the chase came to a stop at 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. The team had allegedly boxed the man’s car in and began to physically engage with him.
Sammy Sprouse is alleged to have opened the man’s car door, unbuckled his seat belt, and hit his phone out of his hand. Officials say Kristian Fuhse briefly stomped on the phone before the victim began to wrestle with Egardo Cortez in an attempt to get it back.
Christian Cortez allegedly aimed a taser at the man as Lapuerta watched the scuffle with a hand on his gun. When an unmarked cop car approached the commotion with their lights on, a statement says, the group fled the scene.
After the incident was over, Lapuerta allegedly went to the NYPD’s 28th Precinct, bringing up his false claim of an attempted robbery once again. Upon being confronted by a lieutenant on the improbability of his claim, Lapuerta abruptly withdrew his complaint and left the precinct.
“A celebrity entourage is not a police department, and Manhattan is not the Wild West,” District Attorney Vance said Monday. “As alleged, these highly-compensated vigilantes caravanned through the streets of Harlem with sirens flashing in order to track a man down and steal and break his phone. Along the way, a retired NYPD Detective tried to cover up their conduct by lying to his former colleagues and repeatedly claiming the victim had threatened to shoot them. False reports — especially about firearms — can carry devastating consequences and fortunately, no one was injured or killed in the actual police response.”
The case is set to be prosecuted by Assistant DA Jennifer Bilinkas, Senior Trial Counsel Peter Casolaro, and Executive Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, Chief of the Trial Division.
6ix9ine has a lengthy history of trouble with the law. In 2015, he received four years probation after pleading guilty to a felony count of use of a child in a sexual performance. He’s alleged to have sexually abused a 13-year-old at a party at the age of 18 — an incident that was captured on film.
In a lawsuit filed by the Jane Doe victim, 6ix9ine and an associate, Tay Milly, are alleged to have made sexually explicit videos involving the child as she was blacked out on drugs and alcohol. The victim said she was forced to perform oral sex on Milly as 6ix9ine “touched and groped [her] buttocks in a sexually explicit and demeaning manner.”
Another video allegedly shows the girl sitting on 6ix9ine’s lap half-naked, before laying completely naked across both Milly and 6ix9ine while being groped by the men.
In 2019, he pleaded guilty to nine federal charges stemming from an alleged racketeering plot with his former gang — the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. Authorities say the gang, which 6ix9ine left in 2017, wreaked havoc on their community — leaving a trail of violence in their efforts to sell drugs, commit robberies, and intimidate rivals.
The 25-year-old rap star initially faced almost 50 years behind bars; however, was only sentenced to 2 after he cooperated with authorities and testified for the prosecution. 6ix9ine’s pivotal testimony helped secure the convictions of Anthony Ellison and Aljermiah Mack — both convicted and sentenced on assault and drug charges.
The rapper was granted early release due to COVID-19 in April of 2020 and came off of house arrest in early August. Since he acted as an asset for federal prosecutors, he’s been almost universally ostracized by members of the rap industry and labeled as a “snitch.” Several radio stations, fellow artists, and even streaming services have all refused to platform him in various ways.