The first defendant in the Tekashi 6ix9ine federal racketeering case has reportedly been sentenced. According to Complex, Judge Paul Engelmayer sentenced Jesnel “Ish” Butler to 60 months in prison on Thursday morning (July 18).
Butler admitted he played a role in an April 2018 armed robbery, which the incarcerated rapper allegedly filmed from the backseat of a nearby car. Goods from the robbery were later found in an apartment 6ix9ine was renting.
Butler’s 60-month sentence is coupled with three years of supervised release. The sentence was the mandatory minimum even with his plea. Assistant United States Attorney Michael D. Longyear admitted during the sentencing Butler was at the “lower end of culpability” out of all the defendants in the case.
He acted as a driver during the robbery and was present at several other Nine Trey Gangsta Blood-related violent incidents, including the April 2018 shooting during at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Sean Maher, Butler’s lawyer, said his client was “remorseful for a number of reasons” and regretted the pain he’s caused his family, his loved ones and himself.
“He has been an active father [and] a member of the PTA for many years,” Maher said. “[He has] really been there for the people he cares about.”
When it was Butler’s turn to speak, he reportedly began to cry.
“I knew my actions and being around the people I was around could cause harm to people, and I deeply apologize,” he said. “When I serve my time, I am going to make a difference in their [his children] lives. I apologize for everything.”
Judge Engelmayer said he thought the 60-month sentence was “just and reasonable.”
“You are really fortunate no one was killed in those incidents,” Engelmayer told Butler. He added it was important he “gets a message across” to anyone who’s considering joining a gang.
The next defendant in the case up for sentencing is 6ix9ine’s former bodyguard Faheem “Crippy” Walter who’s expected in court on August 14.
Butler, 6ix9ine’s former manger Kifano “Shotti” Jordan, 6ix9ine, Walter and Jamel “Mel Murda” Jones have all pleaded guilty.
Two additional defendants — Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack and Anthony “Harv” Ellison — have yet to enter pleas. Ellison’s trial is scheduled to begin on September 9, while 6ix9ine is to appear in court on September 4.
The polarizing rapper has been behind bars since last November.