NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - The Brooklyn-based rapper and Instagram star known as 6ix9ine was part of a violent gang that sold drugs, robbed rivals and shot at people who crossed them, according to a federal indictment unsealed on Monday (Nov 19).
The 22-year-old, whose given name is Daniel Hernandez, was charged along with five men, some of whom were once part of his management team, including Kifano Jordan.
Hernandez and Jordan were part of a gang known as Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, and committed violent crimes and drug-trafficking offences, including attempted murder and armed robbery, the indictment said.
In one instance, a plan to shoot someone who had been disrespectful to the group led to a July 16 shooting of an innocent bystander.
On April 21, one of the men shot at a rival but no one was hit.
Monday's charges are the most serious in a series of legal problems for Hernandez, who has spent the past two years creating a divisive brand for himself.
They came less than a month after a shooting at a restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side, where Hernandez had gone to meet the head of his record label.
Jordan was charged with assault in connection with the melee, which resulted in a bodyguard firing a gun.
Just last week, Hernandez pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct charges stemming from an incident with a police officer in Brooklyn earlier this year.
Last month, he was sentenced to four years' probation - including requirements that he stop affiliating with known gang members - after he pleaded guilty to using a child in a sexual performance.
Hernandez had participated in a video that featured a 13-year-old girl performing a sex act, which he then posted online, prosecutors said. Hernandez, then 18, said at the time that he did not know the girl's age and told the police that his "persona is just for shock value".
His career had seemed destined for success. He had built a following on SoundCloud and Instagram, where he has 15 million followers. His debut single, Gummo, went platinum and reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Three subsequent songs cracked the Top 50, including Fefe, with Nicki Minaj, which also went platinum and peaked at No. 3. His debut album came out in February and reached No. 4 on the Billboard chart.
Over the weekend, Hernandez announced that his follow-up album would be released on Friday (Nov 23) and feature two songs with Kanye West.
Hernandez said last week in a radio interview that he was cleaning house after the incidents and adhering to the judge's orders by distancing himself from Jordan.