(NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) – Tekashi69 is out of prison thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
A judge ordered the notorious rapper-turned-cooperator be released early from his two-year sentence because his asthma makes him particularly vulnerable COVID-19.
Judge Paul Engelmayer sprung Tekashi, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, on Thursday from a private prison in Jamaica, Queens. The order came after more than a week of unsuccessful efforts by Tekashi’s defense team to persuade the Bureau of Prisons to let him serve the remainder of his two-year sentence in home confinement.
Once those efforts failed, Engelmayer — who had written he was concerned about Tekashi’s asthma and the risk of an outbreak behind bars — was able to order his release.
Tekashi was being held in protective custody in the Queens Detention Facility because he faced a high likelihood of retaliation for his betrayal of the Nine Trey Bloods. The prison is operated by a publicly-traded company, GEO Group, that had $2.5 billion in revenue last year.
An employee at the facility said Tekashi had left the prison by a rear exit about 90 minutes before Engelmayer’s order was made public.
The judge ordered that release of his decision be delayed — a sign that efforts were made for a low-profile exit.
Prosecutors wrote on Wednesday that they did not oppose Tekashi’s request for “compassionate release” given the “extraordinary and compelling” reasons presented by the pandemic.
Court filings indicated Tekashi will share a home in an undisclosed location with family. His plans now that he’s out of jail are unclear. He reportedly signed a $10 million record deal while locked up. Court filings showed a marketing company was lobbying BOP for his release.
The order from Engelmayer was preceded by a flurry of court filings from Tekashi’s defense team documenting his pleas for release to the Bureau of Prisons.
Tekashi had been stuck in an unusual bureaucratic cul de sac because he is not technically in Bureau of Prisons custody at the private prison. Lazzaro argued that Engelmayer had the authority to release Tekashi because the rapper exhausted all possible remedies with the feds.
Tekashi has roughly four months remaining of his sentence.
The musician behind hits like “GUMMO” and “FEFE” cooperated with prosecutors against his former friends in Nine Trey. He took the stand for the government last year against two gang members — a decision that resulted in him being held in protective custody.