The frightening kidnapping of Tekashi69 in Brooklyn was no hoax because it tarnished his image as a legit gangster, prosecutors argued Thursday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob Warren sought to counter arguments by the accused kidnapper, Anthony “Harv” Ellison, that the July 2018 incident was a stunt meant to promote the rapper’s hit single with Nicki Minaj.
“Would being robbed and humiliated seem like the type of thing that would help a gangster rapper’s career?” Warren asked the jury in Manhattan Federal Court at the conclusion of the two-week trial over Nine Trey Bloods mayhem.
But Deveraux Cannick, an attorney for Ellison, noted that Tekashi had previously invited his followers on Instagram to steal his chain because “any publicity is good publicity.”
After the alleged kidnapping, Tekashi did go on a publicity blitz for his song, “FEFE,”where he was also questioned about the incident.
“The kid knows how to market,” Cannick said. “It was a hoax!”
Ellison is on trial alongside another accused Nine Trey gangster, Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack.
Mack’s attorney Lou Fasulo attacked the credibility of Kristian Cruz, a Nine Trey drug dealer who testified for the government. Cruz said he’d dealt heroin with Mack.
“You owe me $26,500. Where the f--k is my money?” Cruz wrote Mack in one message.
But Fasulo said Cruz’s many crimes and incentives to lie made him too shady to be believed. Cruz, who testified he hired an NYPD sergeant as a heroin courier, was busted with a phone in his jail cell just last month. Under the terms of his agreement with the government, he pledged not to commit more crimes.
“This case is guilt by association,” Fasulo said.
Tekashi, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, also cooperated with the government against his former friends in Nine Trey. Fasulo said Tekashi had not known Mack well and that the rapper’s only goal was to tell prosecutors what they wanted to hear.
“He is a master of reading an audience,” Fasulo said.