By SHAWN SETARO
On Friday, September 6, at the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse in Manhattan, one of the most prominent chapters in the long-running 6ix9ine racketeering case came to an end when the rapper’s prominent former manager, Kifano “Shotti” Jordan, 37, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Jordan broke down in tears when he got his chance to speak during Friday’s sentencing. “I want to apologize to my close friends and my family, especially my sons since I won’t be there for them,” he said before sobbing. After taking several minutes to compose himself, he continued: “There has been a lot of violence I committed. I take full responsibility. I guarantee you won’t ever see me in court again. I apologize to the victims of my crimes. I apologize to their families.”
Beginning in late 2017 and through most of the following year, Shotti, a member of the infamous Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, became a public personality right along with his rainbow-haired client. Jordan showed off his braggadocious personality on social media and helped to make “Treyway” one of the most popular words of 2018. Even Shaquille O’Neal was a fan, joining Jordan once for a memorable IG Live session.
But as his fame grew, Jordan’s legal problems increased. Already on the run from a 2016 case in New Jersey, the Brooklyn native (and the rapper whose career he gained increasing influence over) had numerous run-ins with the law. Everything finally came to a head in the fall of 2018 when, in rapid succession, Jordan was involved in a fight with the security team of 6ix9ine’s label head Elliot Grainge (he ultimately pleaded guilty to second-degree assault); was fired and insulted by 6ix9ine during a radio interview; and then was arrested in a federal racketeering case.
Last March, Jordan pleaded guilty to firearms offenses relating to two different violent incidents. The first, for using and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, was for the now-infamous armed robbery in the lobby of the G-Unit office building on April 3, 2018. That robbery, of 6ix9ine’s mentor-turned-rival Scumlord D!zzy and a Rap-A-Lot affiliated rapper named Junya Boy (along with a publicist) was caught on tape both by building surveillance and, according to court documents, by 6ix9ine himself, who was filming from the backseat of a nearby car. Jordan was, court docs claim, “holding a pistol throughout the robbery.” He received a sentence of five years for that count, which was the legal minimum.
The second count, of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, dates to an incident in Brooklyn just a few weeks later, on April 21, 2018. Here’s how court documents describe what happened:
“[T]he defendant [Shotti] was with Hernandez [6ix9ine, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez], a cooperating witness, and another individual in Brooklyn. As they were leaving a restaurant, an individual shouted a derogatory remark at Hernandez. The defendant confronted the individuals. The defendant, Hernandez, and the others got into their car and drove away. The individual who shouted the derogatory comment and another person followed them in another car. Eventually, the defendant got out of the car, ran towards the individuals and fired two shots at their car.”
That event occurred just hours before an affiliate of 6ix9ine’s, Fuguan “Fubanger” Lovick, let off a shot inside the Barclays Center, reportedly to scare off members of Casanova’s entourage who were attacking Lovick, 6ix9ine, Jordan, and others. Lovick pleaded guilty to firing that shot this past May. Jordan was sentenced to 10 years, the legal minimum, for the April 21 shooting.
In a recent court filing, the federal government said that 6ix9ine informed them about a time in mid-2018 when he, Jordan, and two other co-defendants in the case, Jamel “Mel Murda” Jones and Anthony “Harv” Ellison, had a conversation where Jones decided that Jordan, not Ellison, would manage 6ix9ine’s career. Not long after, Ellison allegedly kidnapped and robbed 6ix9ine—an act for which he is going on trial beginning September 16 (Ellison’s lawyer, for his part, claims the whole thing was staged). 6ix9ine will almost certainly testify during the trial.
Judge Paul Engelmayer called the sentence “richly warranted” during the Friday hearing.
“Your crime was deadly,” he said to Jordan, and then read out a litany of violent incidents Jordan played a part in: a November 2017 assault on Trippie Redd; the Barclays Center shooting; the Scumlord D!zzy robbery, the June 2018 Chief Keef shooting, the fight inside Phillipe Chow, and more. “This conduct demands a long sentence,” the judge continued. While Jordan had been involved in several shooting incidents, Engelmayer said, “Through some combination of sheer luck and bad aim, no one died.”
In addition to the 15 years in prison, Jordan also received five years of supervised release. His lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, was pleased with the outcome.
“It ended making the best of a bad situation,” he told Complex after the hearing. The attorney went on to praise his client. “He’s very different from what I’m used to in this area of defense that I’ve been in,“ Lichtman said. “I represent a lot of people similarly situated to Shotti, and I can tell you that he’s very kind, very thoughtful, very intelligent. He was very sensitive and very caring. He frankly was a pleasure to represent, and I say that sincerely.”
The lawyer also had some thoughts about 6ix9ine, who is all but certain to testify in the upcoming trial of accused Nine Trey members Anthony “Harv” Ellison and Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack.
“He decided to cooperate. I don’t walk in another man’s shoes, so I can’t criticize the man for immediately cooperating when given the opportunity. He obviously didn’t want to spend any more time in jail, and the way to get out of that is two choices: you can go to trial and get acquitted, or you can cooperate against your friends. And that’s ultimately what he decided to do. I can’t criticize him for that, because cooperators are an important part of the system as well, in order to solve crimes and and help society. I wish him luck.”
When talking about the upcoming trial, Lichtman said he “would have loved” to have had the chance to cross-examine the rapper. “I love to cross-examine cooperating witness, and I think he would have been, frankly, a pretty easy one to cross examine.”
Featured Photo: Johnny Nunez / Getty Images