The “godfather” of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods – the gang affiliated with rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine – has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.
Jamel “Mel Murda” Jones was sentenced to 135 months after pleading guilty to racketeering and narcotics charges in April.
Tekashi 6ix9ine’s own sentencing takes place in December.
He’s hoping for a reduced sentence after acting as a government informant.
‘The Street Lineup Godfather’
Jamel Jones was described as the “leader” of Nine Trey by US Attorney Geoffrey Bermanto – of those gang members who aren’t already in prison, at least.
US prosecutors describe Nine Trey as having two parts, the Prison Lineup – consisting of people that are locked up – and the Street Lineup, consisting of those still out on the streets.
Jamel Jones was the person responsible for ensuring the gang’s “narcotics business remained intact, including shootings, assaults, and robberies”.
Jones was caught selling two kilograms of heroin to an undercover police officer in 2018. He was arrested four days later.
His sentence also related to distributing fentanyl – an opioid that can be up to 100 times stronger than heroin.
The 39-year-old wrote a letter to judge Paul Engelmayer earlier this month pleading for a reduced sentence, claiming he’d got mixed up in crime at the age of 15 but now wanted to be there for his kids.
Anthony Ellison and Aljermiah Mack – the Nine Trey members Tekashi 6ix9ine gave evidence against – were convicted earlier this month.
They were both found guilty of racketeering, with Ellison was also found guilty of kidnapping 6ix9ine, maiming and assault.
At the trial, Tekashi 6ix9ine – real name Daniel Hernandez – and another witness revealed the inner workings of Nine Trey, also known as TreyWay.
The rapper had been facing a minimum of 47 years and a maximum of life in prison, but he could be released by 2020 having turned star witness.
The 23-year-old was charged with six offences including racketeering, carrying a firearm, assault with a dangerous weapon, and conspiracy murder charges.
After initially pleading not guilty, he entered a plea bargain and started giving evidence against his fellow former gang members.
He admitted to joining the gang in 2017 but said he left less than a year later.
“He testified that he was a member of this gang but that he was basically doing it as a publicity stunt to promote his career,” Lisa Evers, a Fox 5 News reporter who covered the trial, told Radio 1 Newsbeat at the time.
Whatever happens at his sentencing on 18 December, turning informant has harmed his reputation within hip-hop.
“I can’t even tell you how shunned he is right now by the hip-hop world here. They even call him ‘Tekashi Snitch 9ine’,” Lisa says.